In a report from Fox 11 News out of Appleton, Wis., Lawrence men’s coach Mike Szkodzinski, who has served as the school’s athletic director for nearly six years, will step aside and concentrate on coaching as the school looks to hire a full-time athletic director.
“It has been a pleasure working with Coach Szkodzinski during my tenure here,” Lawrence president Mark Burstein said in a statement. “Even with Mike’s high energy and strategic approach to leading our athletic and hockey programs, it is evident that a full-time director of athletics is something Lawrence needs to reach our aspirations. Traditionally, the model at the university has been to have one of the coaches also serve as the director of athletics, but bearing that sort of workload has become simply too much even for Mike.”
Lawrence will conduct a national search for a new director of athletics, according to Burstein, and Szkodzinski will remain at the head of the department until a successor is named.
“Intercollegiate athletics are an integral component of our liberal arts mission and Mike has been a strong leader for our coaches and student-athletes,” Burstein added. “With our growing investment in the athletic program, we want to be certain we continue the positive momentum Mike has started in the department of athletics. Having a full-time director of athletics is a crucial part of that formula for success.”
“This is something I’ve been thinking about for some time and the support of President Burstein and Provost [Dave] Burrows made it possible for me to hand over the reins of the department of athletics with the confidence that we are moving in the right direction,” Szkodzinski said in the report.