During her years at Coppin State, Mary Wanza has become known for being the school's super. If something needs doing - whether it's advising the fashion club or the gospel choir - she'll get it done.
That's the hope for her newest job, running the administrative side of Coppin's athletic department, which announced the move yesterday. Wanza also will retain her position as director of the school's library.
"Like anyone who's [worked] for a cause, she's [worked] for the cause of Coppin," said Kevin Carr, who directs the gospel choir. "Now she gets the title of administrator of department of athletics, because everything she does turns to gold."
Coppin State president Stanley Battle chose the 54-year-old Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native to run the athletic department shortly after Fang Mitchell resigned from the position in early March to focus on his duties as men's basketball coach.
Battle was unavailable to comment, but Wanza said that she doesn't expect to match the decade-long tenure that her predecessor served, and will cede the academic component of the job to provost Sadie Gregory. Former interim AD and women's track coach Alecia Shields-Gadson will become associate director.
"It was more of an assignment," Wanza said. "We didn't have time to do a search."
Still, Wanza is familiar with the workings of the athletic department. For the past 10 years, she chaired the Eagle Club, the department's fundraising arm, and from 2000-2004, she led the school's athletic advisory board. Wanza also acted as the lead writer on the school's certification process for the NCAA, which it completed earlier this year.
So while her library background and big-time athletics make an odd mix, she notes that at a school with fewer than 4,000 students, multi-tasking is the norm.
"Some people say I'm the librarian, but I've always done stuff outside of the library," Wanza said.