On July 15, Mark Wagner officially took over as Eastern’s new athletic director, replacing Harry Gutelius, who moved to a full-time position at the School of Education. Wagner has served the University as the head coach of the men’s soccer program for nine years and as the director of athletic development for four.
With this added role, Wagner will receive several new responsibilities, such as clarifying the athletic department’s vision and goals, overseeing the entire athletic staff, working with athletic directors from other schools and keeping the department consistent with the larger university.
Wagner will continue to coach men’s soccer and serve as the director of athletic development along with his new position. To help lighten his load, a right-hand person has been placed in each of the programs as the first step in the restructuring of the athletic department.
“There will be changes in responsibilities for everyone,” Wagner said.
Most recently, Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Ryan Livingston was named as the assistant athletic director on Aug. 20. Livingston will now be a full-time staff member and will oversee facilities and game management for the athletic department.
Wagner will also have Associate Athletic Director and Senior Women’s Administrator Heidi Birtwistle to help supervise the athletic department and supply wisdom from her past experience in the position.
In his past work with athletic development, Wagner had a large hand in bringing in two artificial grass fields, renovating the locker rooms and creating a new athletic Web site.
To insure that the quality of Eastern athletics will continue to grow, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Matt Nadelhoffer was named as the assistant director of athletic development and will take on some of Wagner’s former tasks.
In addition, Jim Henderson moved from his assistant coach position to associate head coach for the men’s soccer program, relieving Wagner from some sideline duties.
“With Jim becoming associate head coach, I am able to spend considerable time overseeing the athletic department,” Wagner said.
Wagner is very excited about his new position and looks forward to strengthening the athletic department as it prepares to move to the MAC Freedom Conference next fall.