The Search for the New Athletic Director Continues


John Yeager

Trojan sporting events often fail to draw support from the student body, resulting in empty seats.

After six months and the consideration of 44 applicants, the athletic director position at EvCC remains vacant as the college prepares to enter into a second round of interviews.

The athletic department has been waiting for a new face to pick up the torch after Larry Walker stepped down as athletic director following a 31 year stint in the position. Walker, who also served as the head coach of the men’s basketball team, played a huge role in bringing back sports such as baseball, volleyball and cross-country to EvCC.

Despite the many advancements the athletic department experienced under Walker’s reign, EvCC’s athletics have been plagued with low attendance at events, especially in regards to members of the student body. Through the hire of a new AD, EvCC is looking to make student support and school spirit a priority.

Jennifer Rhodes, the associate dean of Student Life, has acted as the interim Athletic Director during the search for Walker’s replacement and has been highly involved in the search for a new hire.

According to Rhodes, the position drew interest from applicants all over the country. The position was opened in November and examined 44 applicants through January. However, after the pool was narrowed down and final interviews were conducted, a failed search was declared.

“We just didn’t find what we were looking for,” said Rhodes. “This is such an important position for the college that we didn’t want to just settle for something that isn’t exactly what either Dr. Beyer or the committee or myself are looking for, so we decided to repost.”

Qualifications for the position are far from minimal. The criteria calls for at least five years of administration experience and three years of progressive supervisor experience. With nine athletic teams at EvCC,  the new director will certainly have their hands full.

According to Rhodes, emails have already rolled in from potential candidates in regards to the position even prior to the reposting, which officially went live on April 17. The posting will remain open until May 7.

“The cool thing is that we have an amazing facility and an amazing program, which is what is selling us,” said Rhodes in regards to the high interest in the position.

With approximately 120 students living on campus at Mountain View Hall and around 150 more set to move into Cedar Hall next year, EvCC is looking to strengthen its relationship with students and increase the sense of school pride.

According to Rhodes, the solution to low attendance and lack of support from the student body could come from a coordinated effort between the new athletic director and the athletes.

“I want them to be visible on campus and off campus,” said Rhodes.

She continued saying, “Unfortunately, they come, they play their games, but the majority of students don’t know about it.”

In the past decade, EvCC has doubled in size, added on-campus housing and has improved several other areas of the campus. As the different sports teams find their success and establish a prestigious name in the NWAC, EvCC looks to draw the student body into that experience.

“We’re the Trojans,” said Rhodes. “We need to own it.”