Emerson announced the hiring of new athletic director Patricia Nicol on March 18, replacing Stan Nance, who took over in an interim role in May 2012 after Kristen Parnell's resignation. Nicol, who spent the last 10 years at Division 2 Southern Connecticut State University at the same position, will officially begin May 19.
A week after Nicol’s hire was made official, student-athletes say they are pleased by her Division 2 experience, and are happy the college chose to retain Nance in its future plans.
"My first reaction was excitement; she has some really thought-out ideas about how to take Emerson [athletics] to the next level," said Tatiana Motevalli-Oliner, senior softball captain, who served on the athletic director search committee. "I think she'll continue the work Stan [Nance] and the athletic department has started in terms of making athletics a priority on campus."
Julian Rifkind, a junior baseball player and a member of the athletic director search committee, said he could tell Nicol was enthusiastic about the position.
“I know she has a lot of experience at the Division 2 level, and puts an emphasis on communication between coaches and administrators,” said Rifkind. “That's definitely something all of us can benefit from.”
Other athletes said they appreciated Nance's efforts in his interim role. Having already worked at the college for 11 years, Nance will be reassigned to senior associate of athletics when Nicol takes over this May. His new role will include many of the responsibilities he previously held as associate athletic director, like alumni relations and recruiting.
“I can't thank Stan Nance enough for what he's done as the interim AD the past two years,” said Patrick Lowndes, a sophomore soccer player. “But I think Dean Ludman and the athletic committee picked a great candidate in Mrs. Nicol. She has a wealth of experience and was a former collegiate student athlete herself, and I think Emerson's athletics program has a bright future.”
Junior men’s basketball captain Eli Kell-Abrams was similarly positive about the announcement.
"It’s a new opportunity. I’ve heard very good things about her and she seemed very nice when I met her,” said Kell-Abrams. “Her history with her Division 2 program in Connecticut is impressive. I’m also excited that Stan Nance is staying. Both of them working together will be great for the athletic program."
Nicol, who was a finalist in 2010 and 2013 for Division 2 Athletic Director of the Year, said in a previous interview with the Beacon that she is going to wait until she officially begins, and gets a chance to assess the program from within, before she makes any concrete plans at Emerson.