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President Harrison Announces Search for Director of Athletics

Posted 03/22/2017
Submitted by Susan Fitzgerald
Category: Campus Announcements, Student Announcements

March 23, 2017

Faculty, Staff, and Students
University of Hartford

Dear members of the University community:

I write to tell you that we are beginning a search for the University’s next director of athletics and have formed a search committee to conduct the search. I am deeply grateful for the service John Carson is performing as interim director of athletics; he has provided a strong and steady hand and set the foundation for a careful and successful search.

President-Designate Gregory Woodward and I have worked together to plan for and execute the search. I am naming the search committee and have conducted a review of various executive search firms who specialize in intercollegiate athletics. Susan Fitzgerald, senior advisor to the president, will serve as staff for the search, and Greg will oversee the search, interview the finalists, and make the final selection from among the candidates recommended by the search committee.

The University’s search committee will be chaired by Kate Pendergast, interim vice president for institutional advancement (and a former Division I student athlete herself), and the committee will be made up of the following members:

Kathy Behrens ’85, regent
Joseph Coughlin ’80, regent
Tom Reich, life regent
Catherine Certo, professor of rehabilitation sciences and faculty athletics representative
Jane Horvath, associate professor of economics and senior advisor to the president
Justin Bell, associate athletics director for compliance
Tom Poitras, head coach, men’s soccer
Nicole Demars ’18, track and field student-athlete
J.R. Lynch ’19, men’s basketball student-athlete

The search committee will be aided by College Sports Associates, and the search will be conducted by Todd Turner, former director of athletics at the University of Connecticut, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Washington.

The search activity will begin within the next few weeks, and we hope to conclude the search by the end of June, so that our new director of athletics can join the University and work with President Woodward over the remaining summer months.

If you have suggestions of candidates for the position, I would urge you to contact Susan Fitzgerald ( or respond to the position description when it is formally announced over the next few weeks.


Walter Harrison