UC Irvine associate AD added to NCAA Tourney selection committee

The deputy athletics director from UC Irvine will join the committee that determines the field for the men’s volleyball NCAA Tournament.

UC Irvine senior associate athletics director Paula Smith was selected as the West Coast representative for the three-person NCAA men’s volleyball committee.


Smith officially started on the NCAA committee in September and is in the first year of a four-year term that expires following the 2017 season. She replaces BYU associate athletics director Brian Santiago, whose term as the West Coast representative ended last year.

Along with serving as the senior associate athletics director for the Anteaters, Smith has been the senior women’s administrator at UC Irvine since 2006. In addition, she has more than 20 years experience in college athletics administration, including spending six years as the assistant commissioner of the Big West Conference before arriving to UC Irvine.

Among the primarily responsibilities of the men’s volleyball committee is determining and seeding the six-team field for the annual NCAA Tournament. The committee also holds a variety other duties ranging from approving rule change to helping determine future host sites for the NCAA Tournament.

Smith will be the only new member of the NCAA men’s volleyball committee. Loyola senior associate athletics director Carolyn O’Connell will serve the final year of her four-year term as the Midwest representative, while George Mason senior associate athletics director Ron Shayka will serve as the committee chairman and East Coast representative.

The three-person men’s volleyball committee is scheduled to announce the NCAA Tournament field on Sunday, April 27 following the regular season and conference tournaments.

This also will be the first year that the committee selects two at-large teams to the NCAA Tournament field. The NCAA announced in October that it would add an additional at-large bid to expand the field six teams.