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Madison's Athletic Director Sean Dowling addresses crowd at Dodger basketball game while getting fully involved in the pagentry and color of home hoops experience. (Photos courtesy of Madison Athletics)

Sean Dowling is 'hands-on' AD for Madison High School sports teams

Knowledgeable Madison AD
Honored With National Award
By Steve Tober

MADISON- Sean Dowling has certainly always first looked out for Madison High School in his 11 years as the Dodgers’ director of athletics. But that does not mean he is not also always considering the welfare of New Jersey sports in general, and Northern Jersey in particular.

When girls lacrosse was exploding in North Jersey in the past decade Dowling helped in the master plan to form the North Jersey Interscholastic Girls Lacrosse League which has many offshoots in terms of division to this day, but was a foundation for solid organization in a fast-growing sport.

As president of the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference, the Madison AD is currently preparing for one of the NJAC’s most important votes since it was formed in 2009 as an Aug. 20 th vote at Delbarton will determine whether or not the 39-member Morris/Sussex loop (including 36 football playing schools) decides to be part of the brand new North Jersey Super Football Conference along with the Super Essex, Big North and Hudson Interscholastic conferences.

All the while, Madison’s athletic programs continue to prosper with Dowling as the overseer while always backed up by the high school’s principal Greg Robertson.

The rest of New Jersey has taken notice of the shared knowledge, diligence and overall teamwork exhibited by the Oyster Bay, Long Island native who married a Jersey girl and the rest –as they say- is history.

Just recently, Dowling was selected to receive the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Distinguished Service Award for the 2014-2105 school year as one of only nine athletic administrators nationally to receive the prestigious honor, which was announced by the National Awards Committee of the Directors of Athletic Administrators of New Jersey (DAANJ),

“Sean is a wonderful colleague and he’s never been afraid to share his knowledge of sports and effective athletic administration, which has benefitted so many of us in North Jersey and beyond,” said Dr. Ted D’Alessio, the athletic director at Millburn and president of the DAANJ. “When he became an AD he embraced the opportunity and he’s been extremely dedicated to the profession, and we are fortunate to have such a top athletic administrator and quality person working with us in regards to a number of plans for the future and in dealing with issues that we have to face in high school sports in the Garden State.”

Dowling, a former offensive lineman at C.W. Post, and longtime football and lacrosse coach, was humbled by the news about the national award.

“I’m overwhelmed and extremely honored to receive the national award,” said the Madison AD. “To be nominated by your peers in the profession and then be selected as one of the recipients is just incredible.

“Madison High School athletics are very close to my heart as are the welfare of both the NJAC and the state as a whole as we all want what’s best for our scholastic athletes to make the sports experience one they can treasure for a lifetime.”

Dowling is a 1981 graduate of Oyster Bay High School where he played club lacrosse but focused mainly on football. He attended Nassau Community College and then C.W. Post where he played the gridiron game. He later coached football under Jerry Moore at Elizabeth, Ray McCrann at Summit, John Quinn at Roxbury and Tony Sorrentino at Morristown-Beard.

It was at Mo-Beard where Dowling etched his mark as a highly-successful boys lacrosse coach, guiding the Crimson to five state prep B-Division tournament title in six years at the helm before moving on to Madison in January of 2006 where he took over as athletic director with the retirement of the popular John Bradshaw.

Among his many positive coaching hires, Dowling selected a new head football coach in Chris Kubik who would proceed to guide the Dodgers to a string of North 2, Group 2 playoff crowns while emerging as one of North Jersey’s top coaches.

In addition to being the AD in charge of the NJSIAA lacrosse state tournament, Dowling has helped in leading the way for the NJAC, one of the top conferences in the state since the latest realignment along geographic lines in the fall of 2009. He teaches leadership classes and along with Nutley’s Joe Piro made presentations at the National Athletic Director’s workshop in National Harbor, MD, last year.

“Sean is a tireless worker and I couldn’t think of a more worthy recipient of the national award,” said D’Alessio. “We’re always busy dealing with our own areas of concern in the SEC, but it’s great to know that the NJAC has a terrific president leading the way for a fellow conference we know is also so important for the overall welfare of North Jersey high school sports.”

Dowling will be officially honored at the NIAAA’s national conference on Dec. 15 in Orlando, Fla.

Follow Steve Tober on Twitter @Chattermeister

Madison Athletic Director Sean Dowling (maroon jacket in rear) cheers for a Dodger touchdown against Caldwell in North 2, Group 2 playoff championship game at Kean University's Alumni Field.

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