Athletic director resigns after 20 years

The College’s athletic director, Kevin McHugh, has announced his resignation from the College to accept a position as the director of Athletics and chair of the Department of Physical Education at Bates College (Lewiston, Maine). McHugh will assume his new role at Bates on July 1.

“It is with a mix of excitement, sadness, anxiety and trepidation that I face the prospect of leaving (the College), my staff, my colleagues and our student-athletes,” McHugh said. “It was not a decision that I made lightly given the 20 years that I have invested in (the College), the high regard and fondness that I have for the coaches and staff in our department, the great pride that I take in our student-athletes and the success our programs have experienced during my time here. However, I feel that Bates is the right place for me now that I can make an impact there and that this is the time in my life for such a new adventure. I will forever be indebted to (the College) for the wonderful relationships that I have had the good fortune to enjoy, the wealth of fantastic experiences and the fond memories; parting will be most difficult.”

In his 20th year at the College, McHugh, 50, serves as the executive director for Student Development and Campus Programs.

“Twenty years ago when Kevin came to the College, he had to follow a legend in Roy Van Ness,” head football coach Eric Hamilton said. “He was able to not only continue the winning tradition, but he raised the bar. If a man’s success is measured by the lives he touches and the difference he makes, then Kevin McHugh is a huge success. He leaves a bigger legacy than when he arrived.”

In January 2005, McHugh was selected to join the NCAA Division III Management Council and filled an interim vacancy. McHugh fulfilled the remaining year of the vacated term and was re-elected for a full four-year term at the end of the one-year appointment. This past January, he was selected to serve as the vice chair of the 2007 NCAA Division III Management Council, a position he will relinquish later this spring due to his new responsibilities at Bates.

“Bates put on a full-court press and made me an acceptable offer that I could not refuse,” McHugh said.

“I wasn’t looking for a job; I wasn’t unhappy,” McHugh said. “I am more interested in the opportunity to go in a different direction both personally and for business.”

In 2005, McHugh was named one of the 25 winners of the 2004-2005 GeneralSports TURF Systems Athletic Directors of the Year Award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). In addition, to his AD of the Year honor, McHugh was also named to the NACDA Executive Committee in 2005.

“I was struck by Kevin’s enthusiasm for the job from the day he first arrived to interview as Roy’s (Van Ness) successor,” Peter Manetas, director of Development at the College and former Sports Information Director, said. “We both had toddlers about the same age and it was important to him, too, that the position be something they would also enjoy. From the beginning, his hands-on approach to being athletic director, I believe, won over all of us.”

McHugh, a native of Wharton, N.J., is a 1978 graduate of Columbia University. At the 1999 NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships, he was inducted into the NWCA Division III Wrestling Hall of Fame as a contributor to the sport. In addition, he is a former president of the New Jersey Athletic Conference and the Collegiate Athletic Administrators of New Jersey.

“Kevin has been a great boss to the coaches in our athletic department. He has worked incredibly hard and constantly gone above and beyond his call of duty. He has always trusted his coaches to provide the best possible experience for our student athletes,” Sharon Pfluger, head coach of women’s lacrosse and field hockey, said. “It has been great knowing that our boss had faith in us to lead our programs. He concentrated on the important things … the things where he could make a difference and the things he needed to handle as our leader and he let us do the job we were hired to do. Kevin will be sorely missed in the athletic department at (the College), yet we all wish him the best of luck at Bates.”

The College will be searching to fill the interim position. There are no candidates to fill the vacancy as of press time.

– From the Sports Information Desk; additional reporting by Brandon Lee, Sports Editor