Jill McCartney, director of athletics at Doane University in Nebraska, joins Kenyon as director of athletics, fitness and recreation on July 16, 2018.
As director, McCartney will lead a staff of 52 coaches and administrators dedicated to all aspects of student achievement — athletic, academic and personal health and wellness. The department of athletics, fitness and recreation serves 600 student-athletes in 22 Division III sports and approximately 16 club and intramural programs, as well as provides wellness support for the entire Kenyon community. The director works with colleagues in student affairs, academic affairs, enrollment and college relations to ensure that the department reflects and supports Kenyon’s overall mission.
“Jill has a proven track record of working across campus constituencies to create a strategic and coordinated vision for athletics,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Meredith Harper Bonham ’92. “The committee was impressed by her commitment to the student-athlete experience and her own achievements as scholar, coach and athlete.”
McCartney received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s in English from the University of Arizona. She earned a doctorate in education from Capella University, specializing in higher education leadership. McCartney led Doane’s athletics department for four years and, prior to that, served as assistant athletics director for compliance and academics and senior woman administrator at Washburn University from 2009 to 2014. She has coached women’s soccer and taught English at Southwest Minnesota State University, the University of Arizona and Marquette University.
“I am excited to be part of a community that embraces academic excellence while also promoting a championship experience in athletics,” said McCartney. “What I see at Kenyon is students being coached, challenged, and inspired to grow and develop in remarkable ways. Kenyon provides an exemplary model for how athletics can be integrated successfully into the overall collegiate experience.”
McCartney was selected by a committee chaired by Jay Corrigan, professor of economics, that included Diane Anci, vice president of enrollment management and dean of admissions; Marshall Chapin ’94, trustee; Zoe Kontes, associate professor of classics; Sarah Murnen, Samuel B. Cummings Professor of Psychology; Erin O'Neill ’02, head softball coach; Christopher Smith, director, Cox Health and Counseling Center; Sarah Speroff ’18; Scott Thielke, head men’s and women’s tennis coach; and Curt Williams ’18.
“We had an amazing pool of applicants for this position, many of whom would have been great for this job,” said Corrigan. “Jill’s unique mix of experiences — as an award-winning coach, an accomplished teacher and scholar, and an athletics administrator in a range of institutions and athletic divisions — positions her perfectly to build on Kenyon’s legacy of excellence.”
McCartney replaces Peter Smith, who retired in December 2017 after 16 years leading Kenyon’s athletics department. Associate Director of Athletics Amy Heasley Williams ’88 served as interim director for the spring 2018 semester. Kenyon leads all NCAA Division III institutions with a total of 60 national championship trophies and ranks second with 81 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship award-winners.