Heath Schroyer signs 5-year extension at McNeese

  • icon
  • icon
  • icon
  • icon

Heath Schroyer

LAKE CHARLES – McNeese Director of Athletics Heath Schroyer, who in just three years of being at the helm of the athletic department has transformed it into the fastest growing department in the Southland Conference both financially and staffing, has signed a new five-year contract that will keep him at McNeese for years to come, McNeese Executive Vice President Wade Rousse announced on Wednesday.

Since being named Director of Athletics in 2019, Schroyer has been instrumental in increasing corporate sponsorships from $400,000 a year to $2.4 million last year that included signing a partnership with Ochsner Health System. The goal is to increase that to $5 million a year.

In addition, his tireless work on fundraising projects and community service events such as The Gatsby’s, Football Friday Night Block Party and the summer Cowboy Caravans, along with private donations, has elevated the department to levels never seen before.

“I want to thank (McNeese President) Dr. (Daryl) Burckel and the McNeese Administration for their support for this new contract,” said Schroyer. “I couldn’t be more excited to continue the work we started only a few short years ago. I especially want to acknowledge and thank Dr. Wade Rousse who was extremely proactive with me during this process. Dr. Rousse came to me months ago about signing a long-team deal.

“As many people know, Dr. Rousse and I work hand-in-hand daily. We have very clear objectives every day to move our Athletic Department and University forward. Working with him on a daily basis is very motivating for me. I’m excited to continue to do so for years to come.

“Second, I want to thank my administrative staff and our coaches. I truly feel blessed to come to work every day. I learned a long time ago as a coach that you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I truly work with some of the best, hard-working and smartest people I’ve ever been around. Since I took over as AD three years ago, they have all welcomed me and the many changes we’ve implemented.”

Said Dr. Rousse: “In order to continue the progress we have made in our athletic department it was imperative that we extend Heath’s contract. We all know that the athletic department is the front porch of a university. In our case, given the recent budgetary challenges resulting from declining enrollment, we need direct and indirect revenue generation from our athletic department.

“Athletics drives our brand. This brand elevation can assist us in attracting students, which enables us to accomplish our mission of changing lives.”

Rousse continues, “Heath and I work together daily through the McNeese Athletic Foundation (MAF). In only its third year of operation, MAF positively affects cashflow in the athletic budget by approximately $2.4 million. In order for us to continue this great partnership, we needed to make certain that we extended Heath’s contract. With the support of Dr. Burckel, I’m glad we were able to accomplish this extension.”

Schroyer came to McNeese as the Cowboys’ basketball head coach in 2018 and led the program for three seasons, taking on the role of interim AD in his final year. Following that third season, he was elevated to permanent AD.

In just a short time, he’s added key jobs to the athletic department including training room personnel, strength and conditioning, tickets and marketing, and probably most importantly, academic staff which has guided the student-athletes and department to posting some of its highest APR numbers in school history.

He’s the first AD in school history to award multi-year contracts to head coaches for women’s tennis (Gabbi Moore), soccer (Drew Fitzgerald), volleyball (Sasha Karelov) and track and field (Brendon Gilroy), and to draw up the first million-dollar contract in school history with football head coach Gary Goff and then the second one a year later with the signing of men’s basketball head coach Will Wade.

“I couldn’t be more excited for Heath,” said Goff. “I knew from the first time that I spoke with him that he is unlike any other athletic director I have ever worked under. He understands the challenges that both collegiate athletes and coaches face on a daily basis and therefore knows what it takes to win. Heath has done an amazing job of changing the culture and mindset within our athletic department while increasing support within the community.

“McNeese will dominate again under his leadership.”

In 2021, Schroyer signed a multi-year deal with the Southland Conference to host the league’s men’s and women’s basketball postseason tournaments as well as baseball and softball tournaments, which in turn will help bring in millions of dollars to the Southwest Louisiana economy.

“I love McNeese and I love Southwest Louisiana,” commented Schroyer. “The people here have welcomed me from day one and the relationships I’ve built here are genuine, true relationships. I value all of them so much. My son Hayden and I have made Lake Charles our home. Both of us are excited to know we can continue to call Lake Charles and McNeese our home for years to come.”

Schroyer previously referred to McNeese Athletics as a “Sleeping Giant.” The tireless work he’s put into improving the department and working in the community, has seen those eyes start to open.

“We have come a long way as a department in three years,” said Schroyer. “However, we are just getting started. As I’ve said before, we have everything in place to not only be great, but to accomplish things many felt were impossible only a few years ago.

“I have two major objectives moving forward, and that’s to make McNeese a national brand and a regional power. I couldn’t be happier to have the opportunity to continue to move our department toward those objectives.

“Our future is bright and our time is now! I couldn’t be more excited to continue to lead this department and live in this community. Geaux Pokes!”

  • < PREV Dylan Crews named to SEC Baseball Community Service Team
  • NEXT > Brees Dream Foundation announces NOLA Pickleball Fest