Sara Quinnell

  • Title
    Assistant Commissioner
  • Email
  • Phone
Sara Quinnell was named the UMAC Assistant Commissioner in February 2016 after serving as the St. Catherine University sports information director since August 2012. Quinnell's duties with the UMAC include oversight of the league's sports information efforts, brand and identity development utilizing the conference's website, social media outlets, and other digital platforms, assisting with the running of all 18 conference championships. She provides support to the UMAC governance structure as liaison to the Athletics Communications/Sports Information and Senior Woman Administrators Committees, and also leads select conference meetings and committees. Quinnell also maintains all conference schedules and the conference's officiating management platform.

During her time at the UMAC Quinnell has led several initiatives aimed at serving the membership and increasing the visibility of the conference. Quinnell developed and led the  2017 UMAC Women's Leadership Symposium that was recognized in the NCAA Divsion III Diversity Spotlight. Additionally, she created all written and digital content for the UMAC "10-Year Celebration" and helped organize the celebratory banquet. Per NCAA requirements for membership, Quinnell oversaw the conference's six sub-committees charged with completion of the NCAA Conference Self-Study Guide (CSSG) which yielded strategic priorities critical in development of the conference's strategic plan. 

In addition to her responsibilities with the UMAC, Quinnell is actively involved in the NCAA and other intercollegiate organizations. For the 2019-20 academic year, Quinnell chaired the Division III Assistant Commissioners Group and served on the Executive Committee through 2020-21 as Past Chair. Quinnell also completed the 2019 NCAA Division III Senior Woman Administrator Program. Quinnell also began serving as the UMAC representative on the Division III Men's Soccer Regional Advisory Committee in September 2018 and was selected to serve as the NCAA site representative for the opening regional rounds of the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship at the University of St. Thomas. Quinnell served four years on NCAA Division III Strategic Alliance Matching Grant selection committee and was the co-chair of the awards committee of the National Association of Division III Athletics Administrators (NADIIIAA) for two years. She also served two years on the education and professional development committee through Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA). Quinnell is also an active member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and served on a panel on social media at the 2017 CoSIDA Convention. 

In serving as St. Catherine's first-ever full-time SID, Quinnell oversaw all written, digital and creative content for the institution's athletics website, social media outlets and other marketing materials as well as maintained statistics, records, and promoted each of the 12 varsity sports sponsored by the institution. She also served as the adviser of the Wildcat Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (WSAAC) and the dance team recruiting coordinator.

Prior to her time at St. Catherine, Quinnell served one year as the Assistant to the Associate Athletic Director for Communications and Special Events at Macalester College as part of the NCAA Division III Ethnic Minority and Women's Internship grant program. While at Macalester, Quinnell enhanced communications and social media efforts for the department as well as assisted with event management, compliance, promotions and leadership initiatives.

In April 2012, Quinnell also received the Administrator of Tomorrow Award from Women Leaders in College Sports, an award presented to an undergraduate/graduate student, intern or volunteer who aspires to a career in intercollegiate athletics, and recognizes involvement and a leadership role on campus. Quinnell is a 2014 graduate of Women Leaders in College Sports' Institute for Administrative Advancement.

Quinnell brings Division III conference office experience to her position with the UMAC after spending a year as an administrative intern with the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) in 2010-11. During her time at the MIAC, Quinnell assisted with sports information, event and championships management, compliance and strategic planning. She also planned and organized the first-ever MIAC Student-Athlete Leadership Conference.

Outside of her professional career, Quinnell has also volunteered with the Minnesota Coalition for Women in Athletic Leadership for eight years, and chaired, for multiple years, the group that plans, organizes and executes the state's annual celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. 

Quinnell graduated from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota 2010 with Summa Cum Laude honors and a bachelor' degree in public relations and electronic publishing, as well as a minor in sport business. She was a three-year captain of the SMU women's hockey team and earned Academic All-MIAC honors in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Quinnell, a native of Kenosha, Wis., earned her master's degree in applied kinesiology for sport management from the University of Minnesota in 2014. She resides in the Twin Cities with her husband Jereme and son Bennett.