Van Kley named athletics director

Van_Kley_EricFinalizing a new athletics department leadership team, Central president Mark Putnam named Eric Van Kley as athletics director April 1.

Van Kley served as interim athletics director since July 1, following the retirement of Al Dorenkamp, who served for 14 years. Van Kley will continue as Central’s head wrestling coach, a post he has held for the past six seasons. Previously he was athletics director at the University of Great Falls (Mont.) in 2006-07 and head wrestling coach there for three years.
The department structure changed last summer when senior woman administrator Alicia O’Brien’s role was expanded to become associate athletics director and John Edwards was named associate athletics director for operations. Earlier, Mona Roozeboom was named associate athletics director for business affairs.

“The NCAA Division III athletics landscape has changed dramatically,” Putnam said. “It’s become increasingly clear that a change in our leadership structure is needed for the department to operate effectively in this transformed environment. And it’s now even clearer that the structure that was put in place last summer is the right one for Central College moving forward.

“I’ve had discussions with the coaching staff. I’ve received feedback from all corners of the campus, as well as from alumni and community members. It’s evident that the leadership being provided in this new framework is superb. Eric, Alicia, John and Mona have formed a cohesive team that has provided effective direction and support for the department.”

Van Kley said he’s found a dream position. “I have a great love for Central College, the Central athletics tradition and for who we are as a program and as an institution,” he said. “We’re blessed with a tremendous staff and I’m unbelievably excited about the opportunity to serve some of the best student-athletes in the country.”

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