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Elms AD McCleary selected as director of Division III

Elms College Athletics Director Louise McCleary has been hired as director of Division III at the NCAA national office.

A 20-year veteran in athletics administration, including the last 15 years at Division III institutions, McCleary will assist Division III Vice President Dan Dutcher in overseeing the division’s governance committee structure (particularly the Presidents and Management Councils), developing and implementing the division’s strategic plan and managing the division’s operating budget, among other assignments.

McCleary, who will begin her duties on Feb. 6, replaces Leah Kareti, who announced in November that she would relinquish her position as director but remain as a contractor to manage special projects for the division. Kareti has served as director since 2006.

“Louise’s broad-based professional accomplishments and leadership experience will be a  tremendous asset to the national office and the Division III governance staff,” Dutcher said. “She will pick up where Leah left off. Leah’s leadership of and service to Division III during her tenure as director has been outstanding. I am grateful for her many contributions and look forward to continuing to benefit from her many talents in this new capacity.”

McCleary has been the AD at Elms since 2002, directing a 15-sport program. She added 11 full-time coaches and oversaw a $1.7 million field-improvement project during her tenure. McCleary also implemented programs that improved student-athlete academic performance, boosting graduation rates above those of the student body.

Before that, McCleary was at Vassar, first as an associate athletics director and then as interim AD in 2001-02. She worked at Trine University from 1991 to 1997, serving as an assistant basketball coach, sports information director and assistant AD. She also was an assistant basketball coach at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, for two years and at her alma mater Wellesley College for one.

McCleary has extensive NCAA committee service, including her current role as chair of the inaugural Division III Men’s Volleyball Committee (a replacement will be named shortly, though McCleary will continue to assist the committee from a staff perspective). She also has served on the Division III Championships Committee and on regional advisory committees in three sports.

She also chaired the New England Collegiate Conference strategic planning committee, was the conference’s AD chair in 2008 and 2009 and served as interim commissioner during its first year of existence (2007-08). 

McCleary has a bachelor of arts degree in political science and American studies from Wellesley and a master’s in sport management from Massachusetts.