By Emily Shumaker
The University of Mary Washington has been conducting a “long and exhaustive” search to fill the Athletic Director position since last spring. In an email written to the UMW community on Jan. 14, Cedric Rucker, chair of the Director of Athletics Search Committee, announced that four finalists have been chosen.
Two of four forums have been held to provide students with the opportunity to hear from and talk with the candidates. Following the forums, students are able to provide feedback about them via an email survey. The surveys and the feedback will be taken into account in the final decision. Students were notified and encouraged to attend forums via email.
UMW’s head women’s tennis coach Patrick Catullo presented on Jan 14. Catullo serves as the UMW interim Athletic Director, and previously filled the position of Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance for six years at UMW. Alisha Tucker presented on Jan 16.
The search process for highly
qualified candidates began just last spring in an effort to fill the
position when UMW did not renew their contract with the previous
Athletic Director, Ken Tyler. Tyler, who was hired as UMW’s Athletic
Director in 2012 to replace the then-retiring Edward Hegmann, held the
position for six years.
Filling the Athletic Director position is vital to the success of the athletic program. According to the 2019 leadership prospectus distributed for the position, the Athletic Director is a position that requires a person to “lead a department of talented coaches and staff, [will] serve as the chief spokesperson and advocate for Athletics, and will champion an environment that embraces inclusive excellence at all department levels.”
Among other responsibilities, the Athletic Director sets the department’s strategic direction within the context of UMW’s mission and community values, is responsible for the administrative and budget management of the department, supports the academic program and represents the department. In addition, they are responsible for ensuring that all programs, policies, competitions, services and events are in compliance with University, CAC and NCAA standards and guidelines.
The final two forums will be held on Jan 28 and Jan 30 at noon in the Colonnade Room of the University Center.