WATERVILLE, MAINE – Thomas College President Laurie Lachance and Vice President of Enrollment Management Jonathan Kent have announced Shanda Ness as the College's Director of Athletics. Ness officially begins her duties on June 19.
Ness is currently serving as Interim Co-Director of Athletics and the Head Softball Coach at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA. She will take over for David Roussel who resigned after serving Thomas for six years.
"I'm excited to welcome Shanda to Thomas College and continue to build upon the strong foundation that has been put in place by the former Athletic Director," said Kent. "She brings a wealth of knowledge to Thomas including recruiting, compliance, mentoring, coaching, and more. I know the Athletics Department is anxious to begin working with Shanda, helping to recruit the best students to Thomas and to play a part in the greater Waterville community."
As the Athletic Director at Thomas, she will oversee 13 varsity sports and three club sports while leading the department in strategic planning, fiscal management, compliance oversight and professional mentorship of staff.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to be a part of the future of Thomas College and Thomas College Athletics," said Ness. "Early in the search process, I could tell that Thomas is a place with quality people and excellent leadership. I am confident that it is the right fit for my career path. I am looking forward to continuing the momentum of being an elite NCAA Division III program that provides exceptional experiences to our student-athletes."
Ness's involvement at the NCAA Division III level spans over 21 years in both coaching and administrative roles. At Cornell, she served as an Assistant Athletic Director for six years and 11 years as their Head Softball Coach and Senior Woman Administrator.
Prior to Cornell, Ness spent eight years as the Head Softball Coach at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. In the summer of 2005, she served as the Assistant Athletic Director at Camp Laurel in Readfield, ME before taking the job as Recreation Coordinator for the city of Waterville, ME in August of 2005.
Ness graduated from Northern State University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in health, physical education, and recreation. She received a Master of Arts degree in teaching from Northern State in 1994. In her first job after graduation, Ness coached and taught at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, SD for three seasons.