Colby-Sawyer College Names Jeanette McKillop Director of Athletics

Colby-Sawyer College has announced the hiring of Jeanette McKillop as its next director of athletics.

McKillop, who will begin her tenure June 1, comes to Colby-Sawyer from nearby Rindge, New Hampshire, where she spent the last five years serving as the associate athletic director for compliance and senior woman administrator at Franklin Pierce University (FPU). McKillop’s hiring concludes a national search that yielded a diverse pool of candidates from across the country.

“I am thrilled to welcome Jen and her family to the Colby-Sawyer community,” Colby-Sawyer College President Susan D. Stuebner said. “The search committee and I were impressed with Jen’s experience in mentoring and developing successful coaches, her encouragement of student-athletes in pursuing their best and whole selves and her ability to collaborate well with all campus constituents. I know that Jen will apply her many talents to enhancing the Chargers’ tradition of excellence.”

At Colby-Sawyer, McKillop will lead and manage all aspects of the college’s 21 NCAA intercollegiate athletics programs, the majority of which compete in the Division III Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC). McKillop will oversee the recruitment, hiring and supervision of the athletic department’s 35 fulltime and part-time employees and student workers, as well as the recruitment efforts of prospective student-athletes.

The Chargers are the winners of four straight GNAC women’s cross country titles and three straight GNAC women’s tennis championships, with nine student-athletes having earned major GNAC awards over the course of the last academic year. Additionally,70 Colby-Sawyer student-athletes earned recognition on the latest GNAC Academic All-Conference Team.

“I am committed to fostering an environment where student-athletes thrive academically, athletically and personally,” said McKillop, who attended the University of San Diego on a Division I basketball scholarship. “One of my primary goals is to build on that holistic approach to student development, ensuring that every student-athlete receives the support they need to succeed both on and off the field. I see athletics as an avenue for not just physical development, but also for fostering essential life skills and character traits that are invaluable in all aspects of life.”

In her role as associate athletic director at FPU, McKillop was responsible for compliance operations regarding the institution’s 24 NCAA programs, as well as initiatives in Title IX and diversity, equity and inclusion. Prior to her appointment as associate athletic director, McKillop spent three seasons as head coach of FPU’s women’s basketball program, after 10 seasons as an assistant coach of Division I programs at the College of William & Mary, Sacred Heart University, Lafayette College and the University of California – San Diego.

McKillop said she was drawn to Colby-Sawyer because of its spirit of collaboration and opportunity and that she looks forward to forging meaningful relationships with student-athletes, coaches, administrators and members of the greater campus community.

“The passion and dedication evident throughout the institution are inspiring, and I am eager to contribute to this culture of excellence,” McKillop said. “My hope is to enhance the integration of athletics into the broader campus community and foster a sense of unity and pride among all. I extend my heartfelt thanks to President Stuebner and the search committee for entrusting me with this incredible opportunity and I am eager to roll up my sleeves and get started on this work.”

McKillops hold a BA in anthropology from the University of San Diego and a Master of Education in sport management from East Stroudsburg University. She is currently a doctoral candidate of higher education administration at New England College.

June 1 will mark the end of head baseball coach Tom White’s tenure as interim director of athletics, a role he has held since summer 2023. White ’09 was assisted in his duties by Associate Director of Athletics and Director of the Hogan Sports Center and Recreational Sports Lisa Lacombe.

“I thank Tom for providing terrific leadership as the college’s interim director of athletics in addition to his role as our head baseball coach, and Lisa for lending her capable skills as well,” Stuebner said, adding that both White and Lacombe played key roles in the search for a permanent athletic director.