NEW LONDON, Conn. – Two members of the department of athletics have been elevated to new roles, as announced by Mitchell College President Dr. Tracy Espy recently.
Todd Peretz was named Interim Athletics Director while Casie Runksmeier was tabbed Interim Associate Athletics Director. The two will be charged with leading the department for the foreseeable future. Peretz will focus on external relations while Runksmeier will concentrate on internal operations, with both striving to keep student-athlete success at the forefront of their day-to-day work.
"I am excited and honored to have Todd serve as Interim AD and Casie as Interim Associate AD," said Dr. Espy. "Both are incredible members of the Mitchell Community, and I look forward to working alongside them, as well as the entire athletics staff."
Peretz, the longest-tenured coach at Mitchell, has spent the past 22 years at the helm of the men's basketball program. After joining the college in a full-time capacity in 2004, he was named assistant athletic director in 2017. He is in his seventh year as head coach of the men's golf program and previously headed the men's and women's cross country programs for eight years. He also serves as an adjunct instructor at the college.
"I am impressed with Todd's long-time commitment to Mitchell and the surrounding community," said Dr. Espy. "He truly understands the importance of intercollegiate athletics and the value it brings to our community. I am confident in his ability to not only represent Mitchell College, but to be a leader among his peers as well. It will be a pleasure to have him be a member of our Senior Team."
Peretz will spearhead several initiatives in his new role. His key responsibilities will be forging the department forward when it comes to its strategic enrollment management plan, developing community partnerships, and instilling a culture of philanthropy throughout the department in line with the advancement office.
"First off, I would like to thank President Espy for presenting me this wonderful opportunity," said Peretz. "My goal is to continue to move Mitchell College athletics and recreation forward while providing an outstanding experience for our student-athletes, coaches, and community.
"I'm very appreciative and thankful to be chosen as interim athletics director. When I started here 22 years ago as a men's basketball coach, I never envisioned being where I am today. I've had the opportunity to work for a number of athletics directors over the years, and each one had qualities that set them apart. If I can take a little from each one—while putting my own spin on it—I feel confident that I'll succeed in my new role."
Peretz helped shepherd the department through the College's transformation from a junior college to a NCAA Division III institution. His men's basketball program has won a pair of New England Collegiate Conference titles since 2014, the same year he was voted NECC Coach of the Year. He is also a fixture as an adjunct professor, teaching courses that include waterfront sports, lifetime leisure sports, activity and leadership, and adaptive physical education.
Runksmeier, who joined the Mariners in 2017 as an assistant athletics director, serves a myriad of roles in the department. As the compliance coordinator she manages all the policies and procedures that accompany Division III athletics. Her other duties include managing game day operations, coordinating large athletic special events, monitoring the department's finances, attending conference meetings, and scheduling team travel.
"Casie brings a wealth of management and leadership skills to the position," said Dr. Espy. "Her expertise in athletics compliance and strong commitment to standards of excellence—along with a deep knowledge and understanding of the Mitchell community—make her a valuable member of the department. I look forward to seeing the positive impact she will make in her new role."
A key new responsibility for Runksmeier will be guiding the preparation of Mitchell's NCAA Division III institutional self-study this year. The self-study is designed to provide institutions a periodic assessment of their application of the Division III philosophy, and to identify successes and challenges in the operations of the department of athletics based on the institution's needs.
"I want to thank President Espy for this opportunity," said Runksmeier. "I appreciate the chance to continue to learn and grow professionally. This is particularly true as we open up our new outdoor facility and embark on our next self-study."
Runksmeier, a former leadership coach and mentor, is also a fixture in the Sport Management program as an adjunct professor at the college. She teaches a course each semester and has covered topics that include athletic administration, sport finance, athletic event management, and fitness and wellness.
The appointments come at an exciting time in Mitchell's history, as the college is nearing completion of a $3.5 million-dollar outdoor complex. The project includes the construction of artificial turf multi-sport, baseball and softball fields, each complete with a scoreboard, press box, and other amenities. The complex, which will give student-athletes a first-class playing experience, will also be utilized by intramural, club and recreational programs.
More than a third of Mitchell's student body participates in the school's 12 NCAA Division III programs. In the spring 2020 semester student-athletes posted a combined 3.17 grade-point average.
- Information for this release provided by the Mitchell College athletic communications staff -
ABOUT THE NECC
The NECC began competition in the 2008-09 academic year and current member institutions compete across 16 sports. The NECC membership focuses on providing athletic competition among institutions that share similar academic aspirations and are committed to the importance of the total educational experience for students engaged in sport. Bay Path University, Becker College, Eastern Nazarene College, Elms College, Lesley University, Mitchell College and New England College are the conference’s current members. For more information, please visit neccathletics.com