Dr. Robert Bunnell named Director of Athletics and Wellness
SHREVEPORT, LA – Centenary College of Louisiana has named Dr. Robert Bunnell Director of Athletics and Wellness for the Ladies and Gents, effective June 6.
"I am very excited to have someone with Dr. Bunnell's knowledge and experience joining our team at Centenary," said Dean of Students Mark Miller. "His more than 30 years as both a coach and an administrator stood out throughout the search process, and his leadership and vision are just what we need to continue building on the successes of our athletics program. I look forward to working with him to help the Ladies and Gents reach new heights in the classroom, on the field, on the court, and as leaders on the campus and beyond."
Bunnell joins the Centenary athletic family with more than 30 years of experience in athletics, including 20 years as an athletic director. He has served in a number of administrative roles at institutions from every four-year college affiliation level (NCAA I, II, III, NAIA), including stops at Point Park University, Franklin and Marshall College, Kenyon College, Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI), and Purdue University Calumet (now Purdue University Northwest). Dr. Bunnell also worked in several different capacities for the NCAA, NAIA and the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).
"I greatly appreciate the confidence that President Rowe and Dean Miller have shown by my appointment as Director of Athletics and Wellness," said Bunnell. "Throughout the interview process, I was impressed with the professionalism and passion of the Athletics and Wellness staff, the support shown by the other staff and faculty that I met, and the energy and enthusiasm of the student-athletes. I look forward to joining the Centenary College community, and becoming a member of the Ladies and Gents athletics family."
Prior to joining Centenary, Bunnell served in many different capacities in four years at Neumann University in Aston, Pennsylvania. He was an Associate Professor and Director of the Sport and Entertainment Management program, and Dean of Continuing Adult and Professional studies.
From 2007-2011, Bunnell served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Health, Recreation, and Sport as well as Director of Athletics. He laid the foundation for Purdue University Calumet athletics' rapid expansion plan, including adding eight athletic programs, appointing new head coaches, and helping the university secure the donation of a city park in which to build athletic facilities. The development of the park, a joint project between the university and the city of Hammond, Indiana, is a community facility featuring baseball, softball, and soccer fields as well as tennis courts.
"Dr. Bunnell will be a perfect fit at Centenary, bringing in an old-school approach while showing amazing ability to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of college athletics," said John Friend, former Director of Athletics and current Athletics Consultant at Purdue University Northwest. "His experience, integrity, deep understanding, and belief in NCAA Division III athletics will take Ladies and Gents athletics to new heights."
Bunnell got his first taste of collegiate athletics as a profession during his stint as a baseball coach at East Stroudsburg University while working on his master's degree in health and physical education, earning his diploma in 1975. After his time at East Stroudsburg, Bunnell went on to Temple University, where he completed his doctorate degree in physical education with a concentration in sport-social psychology in 1978.
From 1977 to 1981, Bunnell served as Athletic Director and Sports Information Director at IUPUI while coaching the first two baseball seasons in school history. As the school's first full-time athletic administrator, he directed a six-sport NAIA program, helping lay the foundation for the school's eventual move to NCAA Division I.
He would go on to coach baseball and women's softball at six different institutions in the span of his 18-year coaching career, compiling 228 victories in that time. Bunnell guided his teams to 10 postseason appearances, including leading Philadelphia University to the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Championship in 1990 and a berth in the NCAA Division II College World Series in Montgomery, Alabama. For his accomplishment, Bunnell and the rest of the 1990 Rams baseball team were recently inducted into the Philadelphia University Hall of Fame.
Bunnell arrived at Kenyon College in 1990 as the school's Athletic Director and Baseball Coach, where he helped the Lords and Ladies' athletic program garner 23 NCAA Division III national championships during his tenure. As Athletic Director, Bunnell directed a 22-sport athletics program while administering a $1.3 million budget, as well as scheduling, facilities, recruiting, and an athletic club including alumni, parents, and friends.
At Franklin and Marshall, he oversaw a 26-sport intercollegiate athletic program, administering a $1.7 million budget while also jumpstarting initiatives such as the student-athlete leadership program that focused on sexual assault prevention, drug and alcohol awareness, nutrition, diversity, and leadership development.
"I also would like to thank our coaching, wellness, sports medicine, and sports information staff for their hard work this year," added Miller. "I especially want to thank David Orr and Adam Walsh, who served as Interim Athletic Directors. They did a phenomenal job during the winter and spring sport seasons and have made the transition smooth for Dr. Bunnell."