Skip to main content

Athletics News

Getting to Know: USD Athletics' Seán Farrell
Seán Farrell
Aug. 1, 2014

By Ryan Blystone, Inside USD

Getting to Know USD Athletics' Seán Farrell 

Seán Farrell is USD Athletics’ associate director of development. He is responsible for managing and directing all fundraising activities for the athletic department and development staff. A business finance alumnus from the University of Notre Dame, Farrell previously served as director of development and major gifts for Father Joe’s Village. He also worked at Notre Dame as director of regional development. He spent nearly two years working with the Notre Dame Haiti Program, helping coordinate logistics at the field hospital in Haiti after the disastrous 2010 earthquake. Inside USD asked him about his background and priorities to help USD Athletics.

You’ve had some great experiences that connect you to previous schools and employers. How do these experiences lend themselves to your work as USD’s athletics fundraiser and development director?

During my 16 years at the University of Notre Dame, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with some extremely talented individuals, from whom I learned this wonderful profession of development. I could not have had better role models than Dan Reagan and Dave Morrissey, and was equally blessed to have worked with leaders in the world of college athletics — Jack Swarbrick, Kevin White, Bill Scholl, Bubba Cunningham, and Jim Phillips to name a few. In my brief time here at USD, I have found very dedicated professionals in the department, from administrators to coaches, to executive assistants. (USD Athletics administrators) Ky Snyder and Shaney Fink have created an environment that’s conducive to success and I look forward to being a part of it.

Your background with Notre Dame includes time spent as a student and as an employee. What are a few of your fondest memories and experiences there?

Oddly enough, and even though I had raised a lot of money during my 16 years there, I would have to say that two memories which stand out are only tangentially related to fundraising. The first turned out to be quite an emotional experience. Years ago, a student could gain admittance to medical school after three years at the university, and upon graduation from medical school, they would be granted their Notre Dame diploma.  I met a retired physician in San Francisco who shared with me that his one regret in life was that he had never notified the university, back in the early 50s, and thus had never received his diploma. When I presented him with his diploma during our next lunch meeting, neither of us could speak for a few minutes. The second was when I organized a golf trip to Ireland with the men’s golf team and a group of donors. To witness the interaction between the talented young men and the group of mostly middle aged “hackers” was beyond rewarding.

Father Joe’s Village is a wonderful organization dedicated to helping the homeless and the unfortunate. Father Joe Carroll is also USD alumnus. What was the greatest takeaway from your time there?

In February, Franklin Antonio, one of the founders of Qualcomm, made a $2 million commitment to fund the Franklin Antonio Public Lunch Program for people who line up each day at noon for a meal, which in many cases might be their only meal of the day. Mr. Antonio’s selfless commitment to help his neighbors in need, with no expectation of anything in return, is a testament to the human spirit. This program traces its roots to the very first interaction Father Joe had with the homeless population in downtown San Diego — handing out sandwiches with no questions asked.

Haiti’s devastating situation, especially in recent years, is heartbreaking. You were one of many people go there and do what you could to support their people and the community. What’s been the greatest impact on you?

Paul Farmer, who spoke at USD a few years ago, said that some question if there is any real impact, or value gained when people visit Haiti on a medical mission lasting only one week. He countered that the real value was the impact that the mission had on the providers, when it forever changed them. While I was in Leogane, Haiti, for nearly three years with the Notre Dame Haiti Program, I witnessed these transformative process countless times, and certainly experienced it firsthand. Dr. Farmer’s point was that when people returned to their own communities, they had a different perspective on life and the human condition, and were more willing to be engaged in projects to try to make a difference.

While you are new to USD Athletics, you’re probably not new to what needs exist for college athletics. What are some priority areas that you’ll focus on this year?

While there are some specific projects on the drawing board, the entire department exists to enhance the experience of the USD student-athlete. A great Catholic university exists to tend to the needs of the spirit, mind and the body. As the NCAA commercial always points out, more than 90 percent of student athletes won’t go on to participate in their sport on a professional level. The lessons learned on the court, or on the field of play will be utilized in many ways during the course of one’s life, for the betterment of all.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do in San Diego?

I have always been close to the world of athletics as a participant, and while still a bachelor, and not having the demands of most, I am not far from a running trail or golf course on the weekend. I finished my fourth Boston Marathon in April and I am always looking forward to a new challenge to test the body andthe mind.

Video Thumbnail Baseball: Day in the Life with Jay Schuyler
The real-life baseball experience
Video Thumbnail Golf: WCC's
Inside look at WCC competition
Video Thumbnail Men's Tennis: Sweep
San Diego defeat Pepperdine 4-0
Video Thumbnail Softball: The Win
Toreros defeat Saint Mary's in weekend series
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Tuber
Coach Scholl introduces "Tuber" - the on campus Torero Uber
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Barista Scholl
Coach Scholl gets students ready for class by helping out at Aromas Cafe
Video Thumbnail Football: Pro Day
Toreros submit their resumes to the NFL scouts
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Portland State Win
Toreros move on to next round in CIT
Video Thumbnail Football 2018: Spring Game
Toreros play spring football game for family and friends
Video Thumbnail Baseball: Toreros vs. Aztecs
USD take on cross-town rival SDSU
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Post Season Run
USD vs. Hartford highlights
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Championship Game
Toreros end the 2018 season against Gonzaga in the WCC finals.
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Semifinals
Women's win send them to the championship game
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: WCC Quarterfinals
Toreros close out 2018 season against BYU
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: "Off Day"
Toreros prepare for the WCC quarterfinals against BYU
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Quarterfinal Highlights
USD defeats BYU in quarterfinal of WCC Tournament
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: Day in the Life with Myah Pace
Freshman guard knows how to prep for a win
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: Vegas Bound
Toreros travel to Vegas for the WCC Tournament
Video Thumbnail Baseball: Defeating No. 4 Arkansas
Toreros edge out top five team
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Rock the House
Toreros played No. 6 Gonzaga in a fight to the last minute
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Day in the Life
Guard Olin Carter III knows the games starts long before tip-off
Video Thumbnail Winter Saturday
Rowing, tennis, basketball and baseball, a winning day in the books
Video Thumbnail Baseball: For the Love of the Game
Baseball celebrates 60 years
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: Women in Sports Day
Julie Foudy spoke to student-athletes and guests for National Women in Sports Day
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: At LMU
Men's basketball on the road
Video Thumbnail Women's Rowing: Day in the Life
Senior Lizzie Bader shows how three-a-day practices are done
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Youth Basketball Clinic
Toreros lead clinic in local community
Video Thumbnail Men's Rowing: Winter Camp 2018
There are plenty perks to being the early bird
Video Thumbnail 60 Years of USD Baseball
Milestones on the road to Omaha
Video Thumbnail USD Honors Local Military Members
Toreros showed their support and hosted local military members at the men's basketball game
Video Thumbnail USD Athletes Sing "Santa's Coming to Town"
Toreros show their talent out of uniform
Video Thumbnail Basketball: City Championship
Toreros play SDSU Thursday night at 8
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Fourteen
Football preps for second round of playoffs at NDSU
Video Thumbnail Football: NAU From the Sidelines
Toreros win in first round of playoffs at NAU
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Thirteen
Football travels to NAU for the first round of the FCS Playoffs
Video Thumbnail Torero Tuesday
A day to give to Torero Athletics
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Twelve
Toreros gear up for last game of conference play
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Eleven
Toreros prep for game day
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Summer Mason
USD junior women's soccer player takes a timeout during a study break
Video Thumbnail On Saturday We Dominate
Big wins for both USD Football and USD Volleyball Saturday afternoon
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Henry Lander
Men's soccer sophomore Henry Lander takes a Timeout between classes
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Ten
Toreros gear up for home game against Drake
Video Thumbnail Halloween Hoopla
Men's and women's basketball teamed up to host a Halloween event
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Nine
Big day in the weight room for the Toreros
Video Thumbnail Seamus McFadden's Legacy
39 years in review by former players and coaches
Video Thumbnail Seamus Night
Alumni, staff and the San Diego community gathered to celebrate Men's Soccer Head Coach Seamus McFadden
Video Thumbnail Sixth Man Night: The Event
Recap video of the October 12 fundraiser event
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Hoops Tip-Off
Coach Fisher and Maya Hood attend media day in Las Vegas
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: New Heights
Men's basketball celebrates the third era of the program
Video Thumbnail Homecoming
Alumni and family gathered together for an eventful Homecoming weekend
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Kristen Gengenbacher
Take a Timeout with the senior setter at her house in South Mission Beach
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Seven
Football preps for this Saturday's Homecoming game
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Jonathan Petersen
USD Football's Petersen strolls through Belmont Park during his bye week
Video Thumbnail USD Basketball: Practice No. 1
Check out what practice looks like for the Torero ballers
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Five
Toreros prep for big game against Dayton
Video Thumbnail Football: FaceTime with Lion's Jamal Agnew
USD Head Coach Dale Lindsey congratulates Torero alum Agnew on his first NFL touchdown
Video Thumbnail Football: Brian Fogarty PFL Classic
From tailgates to touchdowns, we got it all
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Four
Hard work follows these Toreros on and off the field
Video Thumbnail Cross Country: USD Invite
Missed Saturday's race? Don't stress, we have it right here
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Three
Sights and sounds of USD Football at work
Video Thumbnail USD Invite: Take a Lap
Men's and women's cross country host the USD Invite: the only home race for the Toreros
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Two
Football hard at work for their first away game at UC Davis
Video Thumbnail Three Games - One Day
Ole Weekend was one to remember for USD Athletics
Video Thumbnail Football: Week One
Toreros preps for their home opener against Western New Mexico
Video Thumbnail 2017 Football Season Preview
Head Coach Dale Lindsey and Senior Ray Clark discuss upcoming season
Video Thumbnail USD Athletics Highlight Video 2016-17
Don't miss the best highlights from this past year in USD Athletics

Download Schedules: Add to calendar

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago


West Coast Conference USD
Top ^
» «