Meet Amy Dannen, the New “First Lady” of Athletics at Tulane University

97c46522-cc0f-4a00-aa46-caeec6e98e8aAmy Dannen is the wife of Tulane’s Athletic Director, Troy Dannen, who was appointed to the position in December. The Dannens are coming to New Orleans from Cedar Falls, Iowa where Troy previously served as Athletic Director at the University of Northern Iowa. Amy and Troy are both Iowa natives and they have 2 children: Elle and William, and two college-aged daughters: Holly and Emily. Amy is an alumna of the University of Iowa and works for works for Astra-Zenica Pharmaceuticals. She is currently orchestrating their move from Cedar Falls to New Orleans.

Have you gotten a Mardi Gras ladder yet for your kids?

Not Yet! I am following Tulane fans on twitter and I saw a picture of one that a fan posted of theirs and he gave me the instructions on how to make one. It’s on our “to do” list.

Tell us about your first trip to New Orleans?

I am in the pharmaceutical business, so I have been to New Orleans a few times on business for meetings. On one of my work trips, one of my colleagues had lived in New Orleans a long time and gave us a good tour and also took us by Central Grocery for muffalettas. But on those trips, I was mostly just in meetings and only got to see downtown and the French Quarter. We’ve made two trips since Troy has been hired, but they were both whirlwinds with the Press Announcement and the other trips were house hunting.

Do you have a New Orleans Restaurant Bucket List yet?

Sort of, in my head I do! I’ve been to Chop House and Acme Oyster House. The kids love Zapps and I took them their first king cake which they loved. I am most looking forward to taking my kids to Audubon Park and to the zoo. I also really want to go to the Mardi Gras Museum and the Children’s Museum. My in-laws gave us a great book on New Orleans for Christmas that gave us a lot of information on things we can do as a family. I am excited about getting down to New Orleans and getting to explore the city more.

Can you give us a glimpse of your life since your husband took the position? Are you getting to schedule any down time yet?

We took the kids to an indoor waterpark hotel for 272ace0b-e807-40b6-9327-74f3fe8d3c26New Years and enjoy that, but it has been busy for us with the holidays, house hunting, and I am still working in Pharmaceutical sales in this area. Troy and I both went to New Orleans for the announcement in December, and then he’s been down once for a couple of days to look for houses, and I went down another time to look at houses. Tulane referred us to a great real estate agent, and I also did a lot of research online before coming down which has helped us narrow down our choices. We are packing for the move and just excited to get down to New Orleans and finally get settled.

Have you developed relationships with wives of other college athletics administrators or coaches?

Yes, they are like my family. One of my closest best friends at Northern Iowa is the women’s basketball coach. When I had my kids, all of the coaches and staff came to visit us in the hospital and they are like our second family. I only got to spend 2 days at Tulane on our first trip last month, and I missed getting to meet Susan Fritz, the wife of the new Tulane Head Football Coach in person by a day. However, we have been texting each other and sharing about each other’s house hunting. I also enjoyed getting to meet Basketball Coach Ed Conroy’s wife Ginny.

What is your favorite part of being part of a family in the college athletics business?

I love the comraderie and sharing the same passion for our team with people who have the same like-minded interests. I love the close-knit relationships that we develop from traveling together and games and spending time together. It’s a very special bond and I am looking forward to meeting everyone at Tulane.

What are you most looking forward to your first year in New Orleans and at Tulane?

Meeting all of the people and making new friendships, integrating into the city and getting to know New Orleans. I can’t wait!

About Fergie Lewis

18825bbe-090e-4652-a616-98fc41f951e9Fergie Lewis is a forty-something native Texan who fell in love with New Orleans during a college tour visit to Newcomb College her senior year in high school. She is wife to Coach Hullabaloo and “Town Mom” to 6 generations of Tulane co-eds through the Newcomb Town Mom program. Professionally, Fergie is an award winning wedding stationery specialist and designs one of a kind invitation suites for discerning New Orleans brides. She chronicles her sports and tailgating obsession at The Hullabaloo Huddle blog.


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