Director: Higher Education Leadership
Sara Lopez serves as a Co-Director for the Center for Leadership in Athletics and Program Director for the Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership (IAL) M.Ed. at the University of Washington. Bringing an extensive background in sports administration and education, her role is overall management for the Center’s growing portfolio of activities and teaching as a Senior Lecturer in the Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership M.Ed. program. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 2012 with a research focus on the professional preparation and continuing education of intercollegiate athletics coaches. Sara has been at the University of Washington since 2000, working initially with the DO-IT program (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) as a Program Manager. Her role with DO-IT was the implementation of outreach programs supporting the inclusion of students with disabilities in their transitions from high school and success in higher education academics.
Her undergraduate degree from PLU is in Secondary Education with a major in physical education and minors in special education and health. Sara previously worked for USRowing as a Regional Coordinator and then as Director of Rowing Services. Following two years in Atlanta as the Assistant Competition Manager for rowing at the 1996 Olympic Games, Sara returned to Seattle and worked to expand teams and competition events as a Region Director with Washington Special Olympics. After rowing as a student-athlete at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Sara entered coaching and continued for over 25 years with various junior, collegiate and masters programs. Currently, she coaches Conibear Rowing Club, a competitive masters women’s team in Seattle.