Photo Contributed by the KSC Athletics Department

Adriana Sanchez
Social Media Director

Our new Interim Athletic Director, Dr. Denisha Hendricks isn’t new to this campus. About a year-and-a-half ago her consulting firm came in with the request of Vice President of Students Affair Dr. Kemal Atkins, and previous KSC Athletic Director Dr. Kristene Kelly to do an external review of the departments.
When she first got a call from Dr.Atkins asking if she would be interested in being their intern athletic director, she took some time to think about it, but after talking about it she knew this is something she wanted to do, Hendricks explained.
She said she like what she saw when she first came here. “There’s so much knowledge and experience in this staff, and people who are committed to the institution and that’s huge. Those are the kind of things that a lot of places don’t have,” Hendricks said.
Hendricks who is from Alabama started in August and will be there until the end of December. She isn’t new to the Northeast, she went to middle school in Newton, Massachusetts.
Hendricks graduated in 2000 at the University of South Carolina with a degree in Physical Education and athletic training. She enjoyed athletic training but she knew she wanted to do more Hendricks explained.
She added, It was her junior year when she was at a game and saw they were going to recognize some of the athletic department staff. But she saw there were only two to three people that looked like her, gender and race wise. “People are making decisions for folks they really don’t know their experience. That was my aha moment, I could make a more impeccable way if I have a seat at the table,” Hendricks said.
“As an interim athletic director, you don’t aim to make a whole lot of changes but what you want to do is enhance and try to fill in some gaps that exists,” Hendricks said.
She explained such as the next school year is when it will be the time when the institution to goes through the institutional self-study. “It’s something that takes a little bit of time so preparing for that, so right now is the time we talk about it,” she said.
She said it’s an interesting time right now. “It’s important for me to bring some sense of stability and calmness and to just be like hey we’re going to be okay but there’s something we can do in the meantime, so that’s my role,” Hendricks said in regards to people not knowing who is going to be coming in as the next athletic director.
But she has started up a FAQ on the website to communicate with the student athlete’s parents better. On top of this, the athletic department is in the process of standardizing the academics. Meaning, passing out an acknowledge form to each faculty member.
This acknowledge form explains if the professor has a student athlete in class, the student athlete recognize they will be missing class but they also recognize they have to make arrangements with the professor ahead of time. Hendricks said, “The fundamentals to athletics is to educate.”
Assistant Athletic Director Abe Osheyack said he will be working closely with Hendricks, as he did with the previous Athletic Director, Kristene Kelley. He said Kelley informed the athletic staff of her departure at the end of June, 2018.
“I think a lot of people were surprised. She’d been here a couple of years, which is a fairly short amount of time for an athletic director to be in one place,” he said.
According to Osheyack, Kelley worked as the Athletic Director for two years at Keene State, starting in May, 2016. Osheyack said Kelley was offered an unrefusable new position as the Athletic Director at Dartmouth University.
“Everything she’s told us and everything she’s put in her blog posts… Just talked about an opportunity kind of, coming out of the blue and it was something she felt that she had to take,” he said, “I know she really enjoyed it here. It was just an opportunity she felt that she could not turn down.”
Osheyack said that although the change between Athletic Directors was sudden, Hendricks has been transitioning very well into the KSC Athletics Program.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with her… Everybody has kind of had their own way to ease into their relationship with her and I think that might be dictated a little bit by when you start. If you were here, as I am, in the summertime when it’s not so busy, then, you really get a chance to meet, and get to know her,” he added.

Adriana Sanchez can be contacted at

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