Emerson College President Lee Pelton announced today that Kristin Parnell, director of athletics, has informed him that she will step down from her position to pursue other professional opportunities, effective Friday, May 25, 2012.
“Kristin has served the Emerson community with dedication and commitment to excellence for nearly fifteen years,” Pelton said. “Her decision to leave Emerson was not an easy one, given her deep affection for the College, the athletics program, and the student athletes,” he said.
Pelton also announced that Stanford Nance, Associate Director of Athletics, has agreed to serve as Interim Director of Athletics. Erin Brennen, Assistant Director of Athletics, will also continue to provide key leadership in the department.
Emerson will conduct a national search for a permanent Director of Athletics, beginning the late summer or the fall, in consultation with alumni athletes, friends of the athletics program, and the Board of Trustees.
“I make this decision with a lot of mixed emotions,” Parnell said. “I’ve loved my time here and the many wonderful people I’ve met. This was my first real job and I hope and trust that I’ve done my part to help make Emerson a stronger and better institution. I am especially grateful to Bill Gilligan, my staff, and the incredible number of student athletes I have had the privilege of coaching and assisting over the years,” she said.
Before serving as Director of Athletics, Parnell was Head Women’s Soccer Coach and Assistant Director of Athletics. She provided outstanding leadership in effecting Emerson’s recent admission as a member of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC), an association that will enhance Emerson’s profile and greatly benefit the College’s student athletes.
Parnell played a key role in managing the Emerson College Fitness Center as well as raising significant funding support on behalf of the athletics program through the annual athletics golf tournament and the Athletic Lions Fund, which she created. Under her leadership, student athletes now collectively participate in more than 500 hours of community service annually. GNAC Championship teams during her time as Director of Athletics have included women’s lacrosse and softball (2010), and women’s cross country and volleyball (2009).
“I want to thank Kristin for the important role she played in the growth and transformation of Athletics at Emerson College,” said Vice President for Information Technology Bill Gilligan, to whom Parnell reported. “The College’s admission to the NEWMAC this year is a culmination of many years of persistent pursuit of excellence and strong commitment to NCAA Division III ideals. With sincere gratitude for helping Emerson greatly, I wish Kristin well in her next endeavor,” he said.