With the fall semester in full swing there are many new additions to the Keene State College campus. From a new student body to new facilities like the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, the campus has grown in more ways than one since last semester.
However, perhaps one of the biggest changes seen by the college is the brand-new athletic director, Philip Racicot.
Racicot comes to Keene after serving an impressive tenure at Duquesne University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. During his time at Duquesne, Racicot acted as the senior associate athletic director from 2006 to 2017 as well as being interim director of athletics from June to October in 2015 (keeneowls.com).
However, what made Racicot decide to head east and find a new home at Keene State? The answer is easy for him.
“There’s a winning tradition here… obviously it’s based on the efforts of the students, it’s based on the efforts of the coach, and in a lot of ways it’s the culture of what’s been established,” Racicot explained.
On top of Keene State’s impressive past wins drawing Racicot in, the college had a little help on the side from two unexpected parties.
“Two good friends of mine went here,” Racicot said with a smile on his face. “They played basketball here and so as some opportunities became aware to me… I was like ‘wait a second, why do I know Keene’… and they kind of convinced me that this was a good thing, and they were totally right.”
Racicot, who is currently three months into serving as Keene State’s athletic director, says he has big plans for the Keene State athletic department.
“First and foremost, everything that we do should be on the behalf of the student athletes… We want to serve the students by making sure that they have a great experience.”
Racicot also gave a sneak peak into some of the goals he and the athletic department faculty have come up with.
What are those goals?
Bringing back the Little East Conference President’s Cup, which is a conference award given to the college with the highest cumulative GPA among student athletes. The last time Keene was awarded the title was back in 2013.
Racicot also noted other previous awards from Keene’s history. “Keene State has a proud history of having won 16 straight Commissioners Cups, but we have missed out on the last couple, so that’s clearly a goal to bring that back,” Racicot said. The Commissioners Cup is awarded to the college with the overall highest athletic performance in all 19 LEC sponsored sports (littleeast.com).
But Racicot’s goals didn’t stop there.
“[We are] looking at doing a lot more in the community with regards to not just community service for students, but making Keene State athletics at the forefront of what the community thinks when they think of college sports.” Racicot spoke.
And as Racicot’s list of goals grows in size, so too does his support.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Phil over the last three months,” said Abe Osheyack, the assistant athletic director. “Every boss says when you start working with them ‘I have an open door policy, come see me anytime,’ Phil actually stands by that.”
As well as that, Osheyack described Racicot as forward thinking.“I really enjoy working with him and I hope to see it continue over the next year and years to come,” Osheyack said.
Racicot also has the student body standing strong behind him.
Tyler DaRosa, a junior majoring in news media journalism, says “He (Racicot) is coming into the job knowing that he is going to be here [for a long time].”
DaRosa works closely with the athletic department as a commentator for Keene games and an anchor for Inside Owl Athletics. He also said, “I hope that [Racicot] represents the athletic department the way it should be represented like [the] last two atheltic directors. We have one of the best athletic departments in the LEC and I want to see him bring that type of energy to the job.”
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