As the 2016-2017 athletic season winds its way to close, the Concordia community is on the search for a new athletic director as Rachel Bergeson switches positions to deputy athletic director. As deputy athletic director, Bergeson will be handling more of the internal operations as the new athletic director will handle primarily the external components. As we near the end of the year, the search is in full swing.
This is the first time since 1996 that Concordia has had a search committee dedicated to finding a new athletic director. The candidates go through an extensive process, meeting with the committee, coaches, students, board of directors and the president of the college.
Pete Lien, associate director of admissions and search committee member – along with faculty from a variety of departments on campus, emphasizes the passion put into finding a new athletic director for the coming athletic season, and hopefully for many seasons to come. Lien believes the most necessary quality in an athletic director is the willingness to represent an entire athletic department. The person must also be accountable and define success in ways that relate to Concordia’s mission statement, outside of just wins and losses.
“We’re looking for someone who can be creative, and is focused and looking for new ways to increase revenue and to use that revenue in ways that really benefit the school’s athletes,” Lien said.
According to Lien, the process began when Concordia generated a pool of candidates. As they narrowed it down, it was clear that there are some great applicants.
“Seeing the final four options and narrowing it down to two made it clear we will find someone who will fit great here at Concordia,” Lien said. “There are a lot of people on campus who are very passionate about athletics and dedicated to finding someone with the qualities we’re looking for.”
Having an athletic director who is dedicated to Concordia’s student athletes is very appealing for athletes across campus. Dane Ringquist, senior football player, expressed his own thoughts as a student athlete here at Concordia.
“Being an advocate for the student athlete is a crucial quality necessary throughout this search for a new athletic director,” Ringquist said. “We, as athletes, may not have much personal contact with the AD ourselves, but it’s encouraging to know they’re looking out for Concordia’s student athletes.”
Current Interim Athletic Director Rachel Bergeson said that throughout the interviewing process, athletes, coaches, others and herself get the opportunity to meet with the candidates and then share their thoughts on the candidate with the committee.
“It’s great to get some one on one time with the candidates to see how we would work together and to just get to know them,” Bergeson said.