Photo courtesy of UD Athletics June 23, 2017
Changes announced in Recreation Services staff
Chrissi Rawak, University of Delaware director of Athletics and Recreation Services, has announced several changes within her leadership team with the departure of Jake Olkkola, senior associate AD, who has been named Harold Alfond Athletics Director at Colby College.
Olkkola has served as a member of the UD athletics senior administrative team since 2010 in the areas of recreation and student health and wellness services, as well as finance and administration.
During his tenure, Olkkola also served as varsity sport administrator for numerous UD sport programs. He will begin serving at Colby, an NCAA Division III school in Waterville, Maine, in July.
"On behalf of our entire Athletics and Recreation staff, we want to thank Jake for his outstanding commitment to the University of Delaware, and we wish him nothing but the best in his new role leading the athletics department at Colby," said Rawak. "During his time at Delaware, Jake has made significant contributions in areas that touch nearly every student and staff member on our campus. I know he will have that same positive impact at Colby."
With Olkkola's move to Colby, staff responsibility changes within the UD recreation department will take place this summer.
Joe Shirley, Delaware senior associate AD for facilities, operations and capital projects, will now add oversight of the UD Ice Arena and Outdoor Aquatic Center to his responsibilities while Eric Laudano, senior associate AD for health, well being and sport performance, will now oversee the recreation services area. An associate athletic director who will directly oversee the recreation services area and report to Laudano will be hired later this year.
"We will continue our efforts to align functional areas and create synergies within Athletics and Recreations Services," said Rawak. "These changes will assure that we provide a seamless transition with Jake's departure and continue our approach to meeting the needs of students across campus."
The vibrant recreation program services the entire UD student body and focuses on student wellness, leadership development and healthy engagement. Among its features are the Carpenter Sports Building, Rawstrom Natatorium and numerous fitness centers for students and staff throughout campus.
The program sponsors 32 club sport teams and over 30 intramural leagues and tournaments. UD Club Sports teams captured national championships in women's lacrosse and men's volleyball during the 2016-17 academic year, finished as national runners-up in figure skating, and each year numerous teams compete in national championship tournaments.
Olkkola, who previously served on the athletics and recreation staffs at Harvard and LaSalle, oversaw the $25 million renovation and construction of 45,000-square-foot addition to the Carpenter Sports Building that was dedicated Aug. 26, 2013.