Athletic Director Retires

After serving almost three decades as the director of athletics and chair of physical education, Leslie Poolman has announced that he will be retiring from his position at Dickinson this January.

During his time at Dickinson, Poolman created and improved many athletic facilities, including Dickinson Park, Biddle Field, and the newly constructed Durden Athletic Training Center. But the highlight of his career is arguably the new Kline Fitness Center, which Poolman considers one of his greatest accomplishments as athletic director.

Poolman does not take all the credit for his achievements, however. As he said, “I feel really good where we currently are as a department. The great team of people we have… they are responsible for where we are today.”

Students commented on his ability to put sports before everything else, and that his modesty attributed to his great success as athletic director: “The amount of time, passion, hard work, and attention he gives to each sports team is truly unique for an athletic director,” said Alyssa Stillwell ’16, who is a member of the women’s field hockey team. She continued, “It does not go unnoticed or unappreciated.”
When asked what he enjoyed most about serving as Dickinson’s athletic director, Poolman said, “I think one of the most fun things is when teams have success.”

As director, Poolman experienced great success through the college’s teams. Throughout his career at Dickinson, he oversaw 48 Centennial Conference championships in twelve different sports, and cheered on post-season championship play in 18 sports. Dickinson’s national ranking increased by nine spots in the 2013-14 Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, bringing us to 41 out of 450 Division III schools.

Poolman recalled one of his fondest memories: a personal victory his team had while he served as the men’s soccer coach in the early 1990s. “When you’re coach and win a championship, it’s a fitting end to a season,” Poolman said of his team’s ECAC victory over Frostburg State University.

Despite these many victories, Poolman’s single regret is not seeing one of his teams make it to the final four. “We’ve been to the final 8 three times,” said Poolman. “I’d like to be able to go to a final four with one team within the next few years while I’m still sane! You know, before they forget about me.”

Senior basketball player Gerry Wixted described Dr. Poolman as “a constant presence” at both the team’s basketball games and also around campus.”

According to Dr. Poolman, one of his favorite parts of the job was his “daily interaction with students,” both athletes and students alike. Though his job dealt primarily with athletes, his concern and care for the entirety of the student body was evident.

“It is always a good day when you see Dr. Poolman’s smiling face on campus,” said Stillwell. “He will be missed greatly by not only DCFH, but the school as a whole.”

In a literal sense, Poolman will still be very much a part of the Dickinson community: “I live 200 yards from the soccer field,” he explained. “I could roll out of bed and be at the game!”

In the words of Wixted, Poolman is “leaving some big shoes to fill.”