Melik Peter Khoury, vice president for Enrollment Management and College Marketing, which is the new organizational home for the college’s athletic department, said that replacing Walton will not be easy.
“Rod Walton is a legend in tri-state region athletics. He is well-respected both as a coach and as an athletic director,” Khoury said. “My goal is to find someone who can come here and continue Rod’s emphasis on recruiting and keeping quality athletes who compete well in their sport but who also excel in the classroom.”
Khoury also announced that he has named C-SC football coach Christian Guenther as the chief athletic officer (interim athletic director) to run the day-to-day operations of the department during the search process.
“Coach Guenther has been an important part of the C-SC athletics teams for eight seasons, first as an assistant coach and then as head coach. He is well-versed in our athletic philosophy and committed to our mission as a college,” Khoury said. “He is one of our top recruiting coaches and well-respected by coaches, athletes, faculty and staff. We are tapping into Christian’s superb athletic administrative skills. His work over the next few months as chief athletic officer/interim AD will be crucial to keeping all of our athletic programs on target and ensuring a smooth transition for the incoming AD.”
Khoury, who has been vice president of the C-SC Enrollment Management Division since summer 2006, knows personally the importance of a collegiate athletic director. Born and raised in Africa, Khoury played soccer internationally and has successfully coached men’s and women’s soccer at the NAIA level.
“The athletic director is not only the leader of a successful athletics department, he or she is the heart of the department as well,” Khoury said. “The athletic director’s commitment to the teams, the players, and the coaches is essential to any program’s success.”
Guenther noted that merging athletics into the Enrollment Management division is a logical organizational structure for colleges.
“In an average year, at least 40 percent of our student body is student athletes, which means that coaches are primary recruiters for the college and that strong athletics is extremely important to stabilizing student retention,” Guenther said. “Although the two areas have worked closely together over the past few years, being part of the same division will make our partnership run more smoothly for students and more effectively for the college.”
Khoury said he expects to name the permanent C-SC athletic director by summer.
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