Director of Athletics Michelle Manning accepts position at Bucknell University
Michelle Manning, director of athletics at Carthage, has accepted a position in Pennsylvania that allows her to be closer to family.
She’s leaving to become the senior associate athletic director at Bucknell University, an NCAA Division I program with 27 sports. Her last day at Carthage is Dec. 20.
Ms. Manning, who joined the administration in July 2018 after Robert Bonn’s retirement, said personal considerations drove the decision to step down. The move will bring her within driving distance of her fiancée in central New York, her mother and sister in West Virginia, and other relatives in Ohio.
“I want to thank President John Swallow for the opportunity to lead the amazing student-athletes and coaches at Carthage,” Ms. Manning said. “Carthage is a special place, and I will certainly miss the people and the community who so warmly welcomed me. While I’m sad to be leaving, I look forward to this next chapter in my career that will allow me to grow professionally while bringing me closer to my family.”
Under her leadership, Carthage added two women’s sports (bowling and wrestling) and revived a men’s wrestling program that had been dormant since 1994. Coaches are in place for all three sports, with competition scheduled to begin in 2020-21.
Ms. Manning also implemented zero-based budgeting to improve student-athlete experiences. For example, she reallocated funds to cover charter buses for larger teams that had previously used vans, improving the travel experience while reducing liability. She also implemented a Faculty Athletic Mentor program, matching each team with a designated professor who can address student-athletes’ unique academic needs.
“In a short time, the Athletic Department has benefited greatly from Michelle’s leadership,” said President Swallow. “She deftly guided the department through some natural transitions of staff. At the same time, she grasped clearly how to further strengthen our athletic operations and build even greater excitement at our contests. Although I will miss her enthusiasm and thoughtful counsel, I look forward to the next phase of excellent leadership of Carthage Athletics.”
President Swallow has appointed Kelsey Peterson, associate director of athletics, as interim athletic director. He plans a search for a permanent director of athletics in 2020.
Carthage Athletics has had plenty of highlights in 2019. Both swimming and diving teams repeated as conference champions, Matt Reinsel ’19 earned national player of the year honors in men’s volleyball, and softball coach Amy Gillmore won her 500th game on the way to a deep postseason run.
In addition, the Carthage women’s golf team won its first College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin championship since 2014 and the women’s volleyball team advanced to its third Final Four. Brandy Johnston (women’s golf) and Leanne Ulmer (women’s volleyball) were named CCIW coaches of the year.
In recent years, extensive renovations have been completed at Art Keller Field and the surrounding track, Augie Schmidt Field, and Tarble Arena, where Carthage hosted the Division III men’s volleyball championship in 2018. Just last month, the relocated Dale Golf Center opened with two new Trackman golf simulators and a putting area.