Amy Edmonds named UW-W Athletic Director

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By Justin St. Peter

Anytime somebody has the word interim in their job title removed, they can breathe a large sigh of relief.

Former interim athletic director Amy Edmonds agrees. On May 28, Chancellor Richard Telfer hired her as the athletic director for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

“Over the course of the past year, Amy Edmonds stepped in as interim athletic director and helped Warhawk Athletics continue its tradition of excellence,” Telfer said in an email to the UW-W campus. “I believe her leadership, not only on our campus but within the WIAC and the NCAA, will greatly benefit Warhawk Athletics.”

As interim athletic director, Edmonds oversaw a historic school year of athletic success.

The ’Hawks were the first school in NCAA history to complete the trifecta of winning the football, men’s basketball, and baseball national championships in the same academic year. The gymnastics team won their third consecutive NCAA title as well.

The men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams also took home national titles, although they do not compete through the NCAA.

“This past academic year, with all the athletic success that was tremendous, it certainly gave me more experience in administration that I didn’t have going in,” Edmonds said. “Any administrator would tell you that there is an opportunity to learn every day, so I am looking forward to the continued challenge.”

Edmonds, a health and human performance graduate of Whitewater, started work at a hospital in Watertown after graduation. She came back to Whitewater in 2004 as an athletic trainer for five teams on campus.

In 2007, she was named the assistant athletic director in charge of compliance and student services, and in 2011 she became the associate athletic director under Paul Plinske.

When Plinske left before last school year, Edmonds stepped in to fill the role he vacated.

During the interview process, Edmonds said she was able to share some of her ideas for the program that she couldn’t during her interim year.

“We certainly need to have a strong fundraising plan in order to improve our facilities and get unrestricted money to help support our operational budgets,” Edmonds said.

She said she believes that continued focus on improvement of academics is another main goal, and she stressed that athletes have a higher grade point average, retention rate, and graduation rate than the rest of the student body.

Edmonds said she also wants to find a way to get athletes jobs after they graduate.

“I would love to be able to say that we have employment placement rates like the accounting office does,” Edmonds said. “[We have to continue] making sure we start making connections with our alumni and different recruiters in the professional world.”

With many ideas of how to improve the athletic department, Edmonds said she is looking forward to interacting with students and staff next year.

“My favorite part is being able to work with our coaches, our staff and our student athletes,” Edmonds said. “That’s why we are here in higher education. Their feedback is critical and important in order for us to grow.”