Keene State College Athletics has been without a full-time athletic director for almost an entire academic year. Kemal Atkins is currently the Interim Athletic Director and also the Vice President of Student Affairs.

Last fall there were two possible candidates who were in the running for the position. Wanda Swiger, Chair of the committee and also the Athletic Training Program Director said they re-opened the search because the committee could not come to a consensus. “While the candidates were strong there was not a consensus from the committee,” Swiger said.

She continued, “So with the lack of consensus from the committee we decided to go ahead and leave the search open and try to bring in some additional candidates to review.”

The committee has done the initial and secondary reviews of all the candidates. “We are hoping to finalize a scheduling for phone interviews and those interviews will be completed before spring break, and then we will move on to the next step,” Swiger said.

Atkins said that they have made a lot of progress in the new search. “The search committee is in the midst as of today, March 7, halfway through telephone interviews with the potential candidates.”

He continued, “We had over sixty applicants and we narrowed it down to, I believe, twelve candidates to have telephone interviews with and then from there we will narrow it down to those who would like to visit campus.”

Although Keene State has an interim Athletic Director, the athletes need someone who is there full-time.

Junior men’s lacrosse player Tyler Reilly said that not having a full-time athletic director affects the entire athletic department.

“I think in some regards it does hurt the department. The department cant step forwards if there is not one in place permanently so I think everything’s on hold right now until we find one which definitely affects the whole athletic department,” Reilly said.

Senior pitcher Kevin Guild said that Keene State needs an athletic director to give the athletes a consistent collegiate experience.

He said, “The coaches do a great job of establishing a good culture and positive etiquette. We could still use one [Athletic Director] to take the heat off Kemal though.”

Although Kemal is wearing many hats at this time, the committee is lending a helping hand by delegating different things to different people to try and make up for the absence of a full time athletic director according to Swiger.

“That being said, everyone in the athletic department is very happy with the work Kemal Atkins has done in moving us forward based on the limitations he has basically having two full-time jobs,” Swiger said.

The athletic department is handling this situation, and hopes to have a hired Athletic Director by or before July 1.

Shelby Iava can be contacted at siava@kscequinox.com

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