Tracking the Change: AD Turnover in October

November 1st, 2019 | by CollegeAD
Tracking the Change: AD Turnover in October

AD Turnover in October

The tenth month of the year was a busy one in college athletics as eight athletic departments experienced AD turnover in October. Five institutions made changes while three schools appointed and welcomed new leaders to campus.

Saint Francis University

On Oct 8. Saint Francis became the first department to experience AD turnover in October when Susan Robinson Fruchtl announced her intention to step away from her position in March of 2020 to pursue new personal and professional opportunities. After leading the Red Flash women’s basketball program from 2007-12, Robinson Fruchtl returned to Saint Francis in 2016 to serve as director of athletics.

Little Rock

The Trojans stayed in house, naming George Lee director of athletics. Lee officially takes over Nov. 1, replacing Chasse Conque who left to become the AD at UTRGV in August. A Little Rock alum and 23 year veteran of the athletic department, Lee most recently served as the Trojans senior associate athletic director and CFO.

Illinois Chicago

UIC welcomed Michael Lipitz as the Flames new director of athletics on Oct 15. Lipitz comes to Chicago after spending the previous eight years at NC State, most recently as the Wolfpack’s deputy athletics director. Lipitz, who replaced Garrett Klassy, started his new post on Oct. 28.


The Crimson became the fourth institution to experience AD turnover in October when long-time AD Bob Scalise announced his intention to retire at the end of the academic year. Scalise, who has led the Harvard department for 19 years, will continue to serve as an advisor on athletics to Claudine Gay, Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

Tennessee State

On Oct 17, Teresa Phillips became the second AD to announce plans to retire. Phillips, who has led the Tennessee State athletic department since 2002 will retire on June 30, 2020. In addition to announcing her retirement, Phillips also announced a $5000 gift to the Teresa Lawrence Phillips TSU Student-Athlete Completion Scholarship. This scholarship is designed to bridge the gap and fund the “last dollar” post semester financial needs for TSU student-athletes, up to $500 each, to graduate.


After being placed on leave in late September, Mary Ellen Gillespie resigned her post as Hartford AD according to an email sent by school president Greg Woodward to athletic department staff members. The school has not commented on why Gillespie was on leave or the reason for her resignation. With the announcement, the Hawks became the sixth institution to experience AD turnover in October. Maria Feeley, Hartford’s vice president, general counsel and secretary of the University and General Counsel has been named interim AD.

Eastern Kentucky

On Monday, Oct. 21, Eastern Kentucky announced AD Steve Lochmueller had resigned to pursue other opportunities. Lochmueller had led the athletic department since April 2015. Former EKU and Ball State University Director of Athletics Mark Sandy has been named interim AD while the university conducts a search for Lochmueller’s replacement.

Saint Peter’s

The Peacocks became the final department to experience AD turnover in October when it was announced on Oct 30. that Rachelle Paul would be the school’s next Director of Athletics. Paul comes to Saint Peter’s after spending the past 15 years at Seton Hall. She officially begins on Nov. 11.

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