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Athletic department adjusts to hiring spree

September 6, 2019

The Bowdoin College Department of Athletics is beginning the fall season with a wide array of fresh faces on the coaching staff of 11 teams. In an email to the Orient, Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan conveyed his excitement about what the new hires could contribute to the Department.

“With several new coaches on staff we will devote additional time to making sure our new staff members are well versed in our approach to teaching and supporting members of our teams,” wrote Ryan. “I think everyone in our department will benefit from the energy and experience our new coaches will be able to share with their new colleagues.”

Since last year, there have been head coaching changes for the women’s tennis, men’s golf, men’s and women’s squash and football teams. New assistant coaches were hired for the men’s lacrosse, men’s hockey, football, men’s and women’s swimming, women’s soccer and men’s and women’s squash teams. The organization of the coaches for the men’s and women’s track team was also adjusted over the summer. Such a large cohort of new coaches is largely unprecedented in recent years at Bowdoin.

Ryan said that while this degree of change in personnel is uncommon, it was not a product of any general dissatisfaction with the department; it was simply a coincidence that so many coaches left the College around the same time. He made it clear that despite the diverse backgrounds of the new coaches, the Department prioritized certain values when considering potential candidates.

“The first thing we look for is someone who values the academic experience of our students and has an interest and the ability to work with high achieving students,” wrote Ryan. “We work to understand a candidate’s approach to cultivating positive team culture, developing leadership skills and managing the day to day operations of a successful program.”

Beyond coaching positions, the athletic department has seen some reorganization in the upper levels of its management as well. On May 21, the College announced that Katie Greene would be joining the athletic department as the assistant athletic director for operations. Greene has served in both coaching and administrative positions at a number of academic institutions, including New England College and Brown University.

Ryan noted that in the past, it had taken about a year for new coaches to fully acclimate to a new team. Nevertheless, neither he nor Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information Jim Caton expressed any concern that this coming year would be a “rebuilding” or “transition” year for any particular team. Rather, they described the opposite—a widespread sense of optimism and excitement within the department and high expectations for this year’s teams.

Only time will tell if the new figures in the department can hold up to these expectations. Look towards season openers for men’s golf, football and women’s tennis over the next three Saturdays, respectively, to see the new head coaches in action.


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