Abraham Lincoln statue on Carthage College?s campus.
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Nate Stewart After two-plus years of highly effective leadership, Nate Stewart will soon leave his position as Carthage’s director of athletics to begin a new phase in his career.

He has accepted a position as assistant vice president and chief operating officer of development and alumni engagement at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where he worked before coming to Carthage in 2020. The change will bring Mr. Stewart closer to his extended family while allowing him to deploy his fundraising acumen beyond athletics.

“Carthage Athletics reached new heights under Nate Stewart, and he has been a true partner in advancing the College,” said President John Swallow. “He has earned the possibility and thrill of transitioning into a new career path, and we wish him all the best in the years to come.”

Leaders plan to initiate the search for a new AD immediately. Mr. Stewart will remain on the staff until mid-January to assist in the transition.

“Carthage is a premier NCAA Division III athletic program, and I look forward to following the success of the teams and student-athletes,” he said. “While it is bittersweet to leave Carthage and the Kenosha community, my family and I thought the time was right to pursue new opportunities outside of athletics.”

The athletic program has taken significant strides with Mr. Stewart at the helm. Under his guidance, Carthage:

  • transitioned to a more inclusive team name (Firebirds), entered into the College’s first licensing agreement for Firebirds merchandise, and partnered with Nike and BSN Sports to integrate the new logo into apparel and equipment.
  • adopted esports as its 28th varsity sport and expanded the program and roster to compete in more games.
  • undertook major upgrades (now underway) to the softball field.
  • implemented stringent COVID protocols mandated by the NCAA.
  • opened the N.E.S.T., a student-athlete refueling and recovery room — one of the few such spaces in D-III athletics.
  • grew athletic revenue by 135% through fundraising and sponsorship agreements.

In that same span, the Firebirds won back-to-back NCAA Division III men’s volleyball titles — the first national team championships in school history. The repeat victory came in front of a fired-up home crowd that set a Final Four attendance record when Carthage hosted the 2022 event in Tarble Arena.

During Mr. Stewart’s tenure, teams also brought home five conference championships. And, in May, shot-putter Joseph White ’24 became the 19th individual national champion at Carthage.

“Carthage is a special place with special people,” Mr. Stewart said. “I want to say ‘Thank you’ to those who have supported me and made my time as athletic director memorable.”

He expressed gratitude to the coaches and staff in the Athletic Department, whom he thanked for their “tireless work to provide the student-athletes with a top-notch experience,” as well as administrators, trustees, donors, and fans.

On a more deeply personal note, Mr. Stewart praised the Firebirds’ student-athletes for inspiring him daily and serving as “exceptional role models” to his two sons. More than 40% of the undergraduate student body at Carthage competes in intercollegiate athletics.