Feezell reflects on athletics at Mac before departure

By Nate Wilson-Traisman

In your eyes, how has the athletic program evolved in your three years at Macalester?”I think there’s a significant difference between athletics three years ago and now. The most obvious things have to do with recruitment ability both in terms of the synthetic surface of the stadium, the new baseball and softball fields and the MARC.

Additionally having the chance, in three years, to resurface, rebuild, or build new basically every athletic facility on campus speaks volumes about how far we’ve come.Also, though, we’ve done some things that probably aren’t so obvious. One, we put in a lot of procedures and processes in terms of how to do things, whether its recruiting, budgeting, spending or evaluation.things that make the department grow that weren’t as much in place three years ago. The second less obvious thing is the way the department has begun integration into campus, whether it’s working with student affairs or other departments on campus.

It’s not to suggest that those things were poor to begin with its just to suggest that that has become something more vigorous in the last three years.”

When you look back on your time spent here, does the construction of the MARC stick out to you most?

“I think that would be at the top of the list if only because it’s been, one, a very engaging process and two, a very much gratifying process. Third, it takes a lot of time and energy, down to the color of carpets and making sure that the door hooks get up. You’ve got all different kinds of details and that takes a lot.constructing a building of that size and of that depth, will certainly be a pinnacle of the period.”

Do you have any sadness or mixed feelings about not being here for the MARC’s opening?

“Of course. I mean that’s something that you put your stamp on, you put your image into, and you’d like to sort of see it come to life, literally.On the other hand, the kind of opportunity that was presented to me to teach came along, and I felt it was the right opportunity.”

What have your biggest challenges been during your stretch at Macalester?

“I think probably the biggest challenge has been this notion of integration, and that’s broad because in some sense I think it’s important to define a place for athletics on this campus. It’s not just varsity athletics, but generally athletics in a broad way. It’s varsity athletics, it’s intramurals, it’s club sports, and it’s recreational programs.

For me, I think the challenge has been how do you give that sort of a light and a vibrancy, and give it a place on campus where people think about it, especially because it becomes part of their culture. Again, I think we’re in a better place then we were three years ago. I also think though that there will be room for growth for the next Athletic Director and for the department as a whole.

Can you clarify the opportunity that has led you to move on from Macalester?

“The opportunity that was presented to me was actually to move full time into the classroom. Over the last three years I’ve also done some teaching at the University of St. Thomas’s graduate program and at the University of Minnesota’s undergraduate program and what I found is that I really, really loved it. I looked into a future and thought, okay, what do I want to be when I grow up? It really struck me that this was something I could see myself doing for a very, very long time.

It’s not to knock the job I had at Macalester. I’ve had a wonderful job and could continue with this job, but I love teaching. I love being in the classroom, I love being with students and I’ll still be talking about sports. I’ll go to Belmont Abbey College, it’s right outside of Charlotte N.C. I’ll be working at a direct sports management undergraduate program. I was hired as an associate professor where I’ll be both teaching and putting a curriculum together for a major.