One-On-One With Macaleter's New AD, Kim Chandler

By Nate Wilson-Traisman

TMW: In what ways has your position as Athletic Director at Mac met your prior expectations, and in turn, what surprises has the position brought?KC: It has been everything I had hoped for and more. In terms of being at Macalester, I think its reputation as being hands down one of the premier institutions in the country has been completely solidified. with all of its gains and notoriety, there is still a central core of great people taking care of each other. It’s hard to really form an opinion of a place until you’re in the circle, and certainly now, after being in the circle, I can tell you that it’s been fantastic. The transition has been unique in the sense of getting the building [Leonard Center] up and running. Since arriving here July 14, it’s not been solely about running an athletic department, solely about getting into preseason. Much of the time has been spent trying to get the new building fully operational.

TMW: Would you say the Leonard Center is currently 100 percent functional?

KC: Today we just put in all the lockers in the varsity locker rooms, coaches locker rooms and officials locker rooms, so that kind of adds the last big piece that was yet to be filled. We’re still kind of growing into the building.I would say to you that we’re 99 percent to capacity, but it’s really just little things that we’re focused on completing. It’s going to be a full year of work in progress.

TMW: Are you satisfied with the regularity in which the campus as a whole has been utilizing the facility?

KC: We haven’t seen numbers yet – we’ll be pulling a data piece on this soon- but I’ve been very impressed.I have seen every piece of cardio equipment filled with students and staff working out and I think things are going to continue to improve in terms of numbers, particularly as the weather begins to take its toll.

TMW: Is the Leonard Center the best Division III athletic facility that you have been a part of?

KC: I think it ranks as one of the top Division III facilities. I think it most importantly maximizes the needs for Macalester.It will rank as one of the best because it’s been really polished and it was built with the intention to have excellence. They never lost sight of the fact that this has to be the best facility for Mac. I hear two responses often times when people come here: One, they are wowed with how the building has been done with its collaboration between the athletic department and the sense of a recreational community. And two, they say ‘I can’t believe this is at Macalester.’ So, it’s been really rewarding to watch people’s responses and I think our campus is pretty proud of the facility itself.

TMW: How do you see the facility translating immediately into success amongst varsity athletics?

KC: There are two ways. First of all, our student athletes are going to train at a different level, whether it be preseason, off-season or weight room work.We’re already seeing a significant upward trend with that, and I think it will continue to grow and blossom particularly now that we’ve filled our strength and conditioning position with someone who is going to be dynamic to our teams. The other thing I hear time and time and time again is that prior to this facility there were several prospective student athletes that chose not to go here because the old facility was not what they had hoped. Now I think when students walk in here – not just student athletes, but students as a whole- the facility will be another viable reason as to why Mac is their best choice.

TMW: Personally, do you feel that you’re situated yet at Mac, or are you still dealing with that transition?

KC: Well, in terms of work it’s been great.I’m still waiting to sell a house, so that’s the big transition for me personally right now. But, I have to be honest with you. I’ve spent so much time working that there’s been very little time to get caught up in the other side of things.Again, people have been very kind, and very supportive.It’s been a furious pace and that works well for me. I love to work, I love my work, and I love the fact that I get to work at Macalester.