Marymount California University Names New Athletic Director

Jonathan Harper will lead MCU Athletics

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA, UNITED STATES, August 6, 2021 / — Marymount California University has announced Jonathan Harper, a seasoned collegiate athletics administrator, as its new athletic director, replacing Courtney Thomsen who moved on to Midland University.“Jonathan joins Marymount at a pivotal time as we reinvigorate our athletics program after having suspended the spring season because of COVID-19 and as we make plans to become a part of Saint Leo University,” said Brian Marcotte, MCU president. “Jonathan has the vision, experience and passion to lead our athletics program in this new era, continuing our proud traditions on and off the field and driving us to even greater accomplishments. We welcome him with open arms.”
Harper was the former director of athletics at Newbury College in Brookline, Mass., where he supervised 14 NCAA Division III sports and won three conference championships in men’s soccer and men’s and women’s track and field before the school permanently closed in 2019. While there, he led fundraising for the Chawla Fitness Center and the Connolly Family Sport Court. He also chaired the New England Collegiate Conference Athletic Directors’ Council and the NCAA Division III Membership Committee. 

Prior to Newbury, Harper served as assistant commissioner at the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (NCAA Division II) and commissioner of the Little East Conference (NCAA Division III), launching its official video stream website. Other roles include commissioner of the East Coast Conference (NCAA Division II) and associate commissioner of the Northeast-10 Conference (NCAA Division II).

Additionally, Harper has worked for media company Penn Atlantic, securing partnerships with NCAA member conferences and institutions and professional sports organizations to facilitate live internet video streaming of athletic events to broadband pay-per-view viewers.

“I am appreciative of this opportunity at Marymount California University and to join President Marcotte, the Marymount leadership, faculty, coaches and staff in delivering a quality experience for our student athletes,” Harper said. “We are embarking on an exciting journey for both the university and the Department of Athletics. I am honored to be part of the team shaping the university’s future.”

He has a bachelor’s in physical education from Bridgewater State University and a master’s in education with a specialization in sports management from Nova Southeastern University. Harper lives in Hermosa Beach with wife Heather and has three children: Clayton, Skyler and Brooklyn.

About Marymount California University
Marymount California University is a private liberal arts university in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, rooted in the Catholic faith. Ranked among the top liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Marymount offers associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. MCU is also a College of Distinction and ranks #1 in California for its safe campus (Niche). The university supports 16 varsity-level intercollegiate athletic programs that compete within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The athletics program is intentionally designed to complement student athletes’ education while helping them develop leadership, teamwork and goal-setting skills.

For press inquiries, contact Mike Mena at or (310) 913-0625.


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