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Meet Nate Stewart, our director of athletics

  • Nate Stewart
    Centre College
June 23, 2021

Nate Stewart, Carthage’s director of athletics, heads the department that supports nearly 800 student-athletes across 28 teams by overseeing varsity sports, athletic training, and club and intramural sports. He also supports Carthage Athletics by constructing budgets and organizing fundraising. Get to know Mr. Stewart!

• • •

What drew you to Carthage, and how long have you been here?

“I have been at Carthage for 10 months. I was drawn to it for its beautiful campus and location in Kenosha. I am fortunate to work daily with an outstanding coaching and support staff which were what ultimately sold me on accepting this job at Carthage.”

What are the responsibilities of your job?

“I oversee all 28 intercollegiate varsity sports, along with sports information, athletic training, athletics support staff, club sports, and intramurals. I am responsible for budget construction, facility maintenance, and fundraising for all 28 programs.”

What’s something you’ve learned from working with students?

“I’ve learned that no two situations are ever the same, and I need to approach every situation with an open mind by being slow to speak and quick to listen.”

What new challenges have you faced in your role?

“The biggest challenge of this year has been navigating through COVID-19 protocols and the uncertainty that comes with testing daily. Taking a job during a pandemic where you can not physically meet people has added an extra layer of complexity. Also, I am 6’8”, so the first time I meet people in person, they are always amazed at how tall I am.”

What sets Carthage apart from other similarly-sized Division III schools?

“First and foremost, Carthage has great people. Our coaches and staff are excellent and inspire me to work hard to provide them with the resources they need to be successful on a daily basis. We also have some of the best athletic facilities in all Division III schools. I also really love our student-athletes. The best part of my job is anytime I get to engage with them.”

What are you most excited about doing at Carthage in the upcoming school year?

“This is going to sound strange, but I’m most excited about actually having a normal (or as close to normal as we can) athletic year. Last year was so difficult with navigating through COVID-19 that I am looking forward to full stands and a full schedule again. I also have several facility enhancement projects in the works, so I am looking forward to rolling out those projects and getting ready to begin the fundraising process.”

Is there anything you’d like to say to the parents of Carthage students?

“I would like to say thank you! Thank you for the trust you have put in us to educate and provide athletic opportunities to your son or daughter. Making a college decision is a very difficult and complicated process, and I want to thank you for choosing Carthage. I also want all parents to know that I am working as hard as I can with my staff to provide a great student-athlete experience. And, to parents of non-student athletes, we are working to improve recreational and intramural offerings as well. If you are ever on campus, please stop by and watch a game — you will not be disappointed!”

What is one of your favorite memories of a Carthage game-day victory?

“The best moment I have had in my short tenure at Carthage is when men’s volleyball won the national championship in April. However, the moment that stands out to me the most is the men’s basketball opening day win against Millikin University last January. That was my first victory for any Carthage team since taking the position of director of athletics, and that one was even more special knowing all of the work it took to get our teams back to playing during the COVID-19 era. That is a day and a game I will always remember.”

What are you most proud of doing during your time at Carthage so far?

“I am proud of the sacrifices that our more than 750 student-athletes and coaches made this fall in order to practice and compete. The amount of testing that we subjected everyone to was not fun, but not once did anyone complain. We also made it through the spring with minimal cancelations or rescheduled games — that is a credit to our student-athletes and their desire to play. I am also proud of the fight and level of competitiveness I saw from all our teams this spring in a very, very difficult year and situation. With a lot of help from other departments on campus, we were also able to successfully change our team name to make our department more welcoming and inclusive to everyone. This was a huge undertaking and I am proud we are officially the Firebirds with the coolest logo in all of college athletics!”

What is your best piece of advice for Carthage student-athletes?

“Enjoy every second of your Carthage career. Also, do not be afraid to be involved in other areas of campus outside of athletics and explore everything that Carthage has to offer — you will not regret it for one second. Lastly, take each day as an opportunity to meet someone who you do not already know.”

What is your #1 goal for the upcoming year?

“My #1 goal is to continue to move our department and programs forward by returning to a normal season and by being able to present some exciting facility enhancements to the campus community, alumni, parents, student-athletes, and supporters.”