Committee forms to hire athletic director

Following the recent departure of Harry Sheehy ’75 – former Eph basketball star, head coach of the men’s basketball team and athletic director at the College since May 2000 – a search committee has been formed to find a new director.

Bill Wagner, dean of the faculty, will lead the 12-person committee of administrators, faculty, members of the athletic department and students. Committee members will include Dean Bolton; Mike Reed, vice president for strategic planning and institutional diversity; three faculty members and three students.

The student members of the committee will be chosen by College Council and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. Wagner requested that the committee include a member each of the men’s and the women’s varsity teams.
According to Wagner, the athletic director performs many of the same roles that any other department chair would: managing faculty and staff and dealing with matters of budget and curriculum. Additionally, the athletic director also holds an important responsibility as a spokesperson for the College “in matters relating to athletics in the local and wider community and in such national forums as the NCAA,” Wagner said.

He also said that the committee plans on consulting various parts of the community “as we define our expectations for the position and then again as finalists are brought to campus for interviews.”

Men’s tennis Head Coach Dan Greenberg ’08 said that while he has no role in the selection process, he hopes the school can “find an AD who cares as much about the entire Williams experience as they do about sports. That’s what’s gotten us to this point and will continue to strengthen our programs.”

Although Wagner was unable to comment on the committee’s current expectations or the parameters of the search itself, the committee’s goal “will be through a national search to form the strongest possible pool of candidates and then to identify the most exceptional people from that pool whom we think will be able most effectively to lead and develop our athletics, physical education and recreation programs in the future,” Wagner said.

While a timetable has not been set, the search committee hopes to be able to make its recommendations to President Falk by early to mid January. Until then, Lisa Melendy, formerly the associate director of athletics will continue to serve as interim athletic director.