Last May, Tomas Adalsteinsson left Macalester to become the new Head Women’s Golf Coach at Williams College. Until that point, Adalsteinsson had been coaching both men’s and women’s golf at Macalester. He had also been the director of the school’s intramural program.
The school hired a new golf coach over the summer, but has not, as of yet, taken any steps to replace Adalsteinsson with a new director of intramurals—and, as a result, the intramural program has fallen by the wayside at the beginning of this school year.
As we approach the third week of October and Fall Break, there hasn’t been any intramural sports competition or communication about the status of the program from the college’s athletic department.
The absence of intramurals has been felt around campus. “They’re an important community-builder. They provide an environment that makes athletics accessible to the average person,” said Kabir Sandrolini ‘18, who has played soccer in the past.
Kim Chandler, who was hired as Macalester’s Athletic Director in 2011, has received a number of inquiries as to the status of the program throughout the fall. To this point, her athletic department has been less than responsive.
The issue was taken up this week by student government. MCSG President Merrit Stüven ’17 struggled throughout the week to get clarification about the status of the program after hearing from several students “who were under the impression that intramurals had been cancelled or postponed.”
“I spoke to Deanna Brabant [the Athletic Department Office Manager] who said that they’ve been trying to find someone new to take on intramurals and that they’re trying to get them up and running as soon as they can,” Stüven said.
Chandler told The Mac Weekly in an email, “As of right now, no one currently holds the responsibility to oversee intramurals… That is the central reason as to why our intramural program is not active at this point in time.”
“It is an absolute must for us to hire a replacement in this [director of intramurals] position,” she continued. “[But] I am currently working on how we can best manage these responsibilities with our current staff structure.”
It’s a fairly big job. Chandler estimates that around 800 students participate each year in intramural sports, though, “That number is a little hard to interpret since many students participate in more than one activity, and, therefore, are likely counted more than once or twice.”
As it relates to intramurals, Macalester’s athletics website is contradictory. In one place, it lists Adalsteinsson as the program’s current director. In another, it says the job is held by Stephanie Schleuder—the school’s longtime women’s volleyball coach who retired in 2009.
The schedule for intramurals has not been updated since the 2013-2014 school year, and the only intramural competitions available to sign up for appear to be spring kickball and softball.
In the past, registration for fall intramurals — including outdoor soccer, volleyball and ultimate frisbee — have happened in mid-September. It’s unclear how and when the schedule will be amended for the latter part of fall and winter.
Chandler, who has been away this week attending the NACWAA Convention in Kansas City, characterized the state of the intramurals program as her “top priority” in the coming days.
“The responsibility is certainly on my shoulders as the Director of Athletics to get the program up and running for our students and campus community,” Chandler said.