Without a permanent Athletic Director currently in place, the position itself at Keene State College is in limbo. KSC Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Kemal Atkins presently fills the void as interim Athletic Director and said he is enjoying his experience with the position so far.

Atkins said his time as interim Athletic Director has helped him “gain a deeper understanding of what is needed in terms of new leadership.”

Although Atkins has never served as an Athletic Director, he has 19 years of experience overseeing athletes as he was formerly the Vice President of Student Affairs and title IX Coordinator for Delaware State University.

“Athletics is a very important part of the student experience,” Atkins said. “It is one of the departments within the division of student affairs.”

With his strong experience in student affairs, Atkins should be able to provide consistency at the

File Photo / Tim Smith

File Photo / Tim Smith

Athletic Director position in the short term for KSC. While Atkins currently holds down the fort as the temporary Athletic Director, the search for a permanent A.D. is in its beginning stages.

With that in mind, Atkins said that the college, “hopes to attract a strong pool of applicants,” and that they have, “already received a few applications.” The identities of these applicants remains confidential.

Spearheading the search for a new Athletic Director is Keene State Athletic Training Program Coordinator and the chair of the search committee, Dr. Wanda Swiger. The search committee has been newly formed and Swiger stated that administration hopes to “have all members complete the needed Human Resources and Diversity training so that we can move forward quickly to the next steps. Once a review of the qualifications has been complete, we will be able to select candidates for phone interviews.”

When asked about a timeline for when KSC sports fans can expect a new permanent Athletic Director, Swiger stated “our hope is to fill the position by January.”

With the committee gearing up for a thorough search for a new A.D., a certain criteria must be considered before choosing a candidate. KSC’s new A.D. must have experience as a Director of Athletics, and a great number of successes coupled with that experience. Among other crucial qualities involving character, prestige and competence, the one paramount trait the new A.D. for Keene State must have is leadership. Keene State Head Baseball Coach Ken Howe commented on what qualities he feels a new Athletic Director should have in order to be successful at the position.

Howe said leadership is “of the utmost importance” for an Athletic Director. In addition to leadership, Coach Howe commented on the importance of community involvement saying, “It’s important to build that Keene State and Keene community bridge and keep that strong.”

As faculty and administration stay focused on prosperity in both the short term and in the long run, a collaborative effort will be taking place this fall sports season. All KSC sports teams look to win on the field, while a successful search for a new A.D. must take place off the field. Although this appears to be a tall task for student-athletes and administration, KSC sports fans can be hopeful that the appropriate decisions will be made and can expect a new Athletic Director here at Keene State by the end of the semester.

Nick Tocco can be reached atntocco@kscequinox.com

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