GREEN BAY, Wis. (Green Bay Phoenix)- University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller confirmed today that Director of Athletics Mary Ellen Gillespie has accepted the same role at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, Connecticut and will be leaving her role with Green Bay Athletics. Her new contract begins July 10, 2017.
“Mary Ellen significantly elevated the profile of the Phoenix Athletic program through her visionary leadership, exceptional coach recruiting, strong management and a national profile with the NCAA,” Miller said. “The foundation of her success is her deep commitment to student athletes and her inspiring collegial spirit. The entire Green Bay community will miss Mary Ellen very, very much.”
Gillespie’s move to Hartford is also a return to the East Coast, putting her closer to family and her hometown of Long Island, New York.
“I have loved my time at Green Bay,” Gillespie shared. “I want to thank Dr. Tom Harden for bringing me here and Chancellor Miller and his wife, Georgia, for being great mentors, supporters and for making me feel a part of their family. I am incredibly proud of the work our team has accomplished and am fortunate to be associated with such outstanding coaches, staff and student-athletes. The relationships I have formed with so many wonderful people won’t end—those friendships will continue. Green Bay is a special place—it has been a special place for me and has prepared me well for my next step. I wish the Phoenix and UW-Green Bay much success in the years ahead.”
Gillespie has served as the Director of Athletics at UW-Green Bay since November of 2013, becoming the eighth person to hold supervisory responsibility for intercollegiate athletics in the history of the Green Bay program. She replaced Ken Bothof who left the Green Bay program for a position at Northern Kentucky University.
According to Miller, Gillespie is leaving the Phoenix Athletic Program on solid ground. “We will begin immediately to recruit a leader to build on her success and continue toward our goal to be one of the most successful mid-major athletic programs in the country.”
In her time as the leader of Green Bay Athletics, Gillespie spearheaded a record-setting fundraising total of over $1 million raised for the Phoenix Fund, signed a seven-year apparel deal with the highly-recognizable international brand adidas and re-established the Green Bath Athletics Hall of Fame. She helped the annual Phoenix-Packers Steak Fry raise record totals in recent years and hired men’s basketball coach Linc Darner in 2015. Gillespie became the first-ever administrator from the Horizon League to be appointed to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Sport Committee in 2016, and is currently one of 10 members serving on the selection committee.