Director of Athletics and Physical Education

Exeter, New Hampshire
Jul 17, 2019
Institution Type
Specialized Institutions

Founded in 1781, Phillips Exeter Academy is a coeducational independent school for boarding and day students in grades nine through 12. It is located in Exeter, New Hampshire, capital of the state during the American Revolution, and is one of the oldest secondary schools in the United States. It is particularly noted for its development and application of Harkness pedagogy, a discussion-based, student-centered approach to learning.

Exeter is a community of exploration where exceptional students come together to discover, to challenge, and to create. Exeter today continues the commitment to unite knowledge and goodness. It seeks students who combine proven academic ability, intellectual curiosity, and tenacity with decency and good character. Because learning and growth at Exeter arise from each individual's engagement with others, the richness of education here requires diversity in all its dimensions; students and faculty value the differences they bring to the community they share. “Non-sibi”, or not for one’s self, is embedded in the ethos. Empathy, caring and service is at the heart of an Exeter education.

Reporting to the principal, the director of athletics and physical education is responsible for providing overall vision, leadership, and strategic direction for the Academy’s interscholastic athletic and physical education programs. To that end, the director will oversee and develop programs, coaches, and student-athletes informed by contemporary issues and practices in both physical education and athletics; will understand and communicate the role of athletics and physical education and its value in an Exeter education; and will ensure that the Academy’s programs operate and strive for excellence within the mission of Phillips Exeter Academy. Phillips Exeter Academy is a member of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC).

The director assumes responsibility for the overall management, risk assessment, and evaluation of activities in athletic facilities. This includes athletic and physical education programming, Academy events, student organizations, and rentals to external community organizations. The director, who is passionate about working with adolescents and providing leadership and mentorship to all students within the Academy, fosters principles that encourage integrity, student well-being, diversity, and inclusiveness, while promoting an environment of excellence and success. The director will develop, implement, and monitor policies and procedures that promote best practices and address personnel development, financial management, facility renovation and enhancement, alumni and community relations, and compliance and regulatory expectations, while advancing a high level of integration of athletics and physical education into the overall student experience. The director collaborates with the Athletic Training team and Lamont Health and Wellness Center to ensure the safety and well-being of all student participants in athletic and physical education programming. Additionally, the successful candidate collaborates with the dean of faculty, assistant athletics director, human resources, and academic department chairs to fill staffing needs and plan ahead for future program needs, while also working closely with the dean of students to support and coordinate overall student programming. In addition, the director works closely with the admission office in the recruitment of scholar-athletes.

The director leads and manages an organization with an annual budget of over $1 million, over 50 interscholastic teams, more than 300 scholar-athletes, approximately 30 physical education offerings, and over 20 full- and part-time positions throughout the department. Supervision includes the professional development and training of coaches and the leadership training and development for scholar-athletes and captains across all teams. Scheduling, athletic equipment, and facilities oversight includes 33 acres of playing fields— including two turf fields—14 tennis courts, a 10-court squash center, an 85,000 square foot indoor fieldhouse, a boathouse, a fitness center, two gymnasiums, two hockey rinks, and a competition-sized pool.

A master’s degree and/or significant, progressive professional experience leading a complex, dynamic, and diverse athletics department is required. The successful candidate will possess a comprehensive understanding of athletics administration, scholar-athlete development, compliance, and the role of fundraising in supporting strategic and operating objectives. Experience coaching; collaborative management approach; superior communication and relationship-building skills; strong supervisory, planning and fiscal competencies; a familiarity with strategic planning, program development and assessment; excellent problem-solving abilities; and demonstrated respect for diversity of identities and experiences, an orientation toward equity and inclusion, and cultural competency in all aspects of Academy life will be important considerations in the selection of the next director of athletics and physical education.

Review of applications will begin August 21, 2019, and continue until the position is filled. Applications, including a position-specific cover letter and resume, may be submitted online at Nominations for this position may be emailed to Dell D. Robinson at [email protected] or Anne-Marie Kenney at [email protected] Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Phillips Exeter Academy website at

The Academy is an equal opportunities employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, marital status, religion, gender, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, genetic information, or physical or mental disabilities which do not prevent performance of essential job tasks. Notices of nondiscrimination are publicly posted.

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