Following a national search, vice president of student affairs and dean of students Lee Burdette Williams has announced the hiring of John Sutyak, Class of 2000, as director of athletics, recreation & intramurals, effective immediately. Sutyak has served as the department's interim director of athletics since June 2011.
Sutyak will oversee a highly competitive department that includes 21 men's and women's intercollegiate programs, 14 club sports programs, intramural sports, and general student, staff and faculty recreation. He is the second director of athletics during the college's coeducational era, which began in 1988.
"I want to thank Dean Williams and the search committee for the opportunity to continue to serve Wheaton as the director of athletics, recreation & intramurals,” said Sutyak. “I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the support and well wishes I have received from family, friends, staff, faculty, Wheaton classmates and alumnae/i in response to being named to this post. I would like to specifically thank my family for their support and dedication to me over the years, as well as former director of athletics Chad Yowell for his mentorship in helping me achieve many of my professional goals."
Hired in 2006 as the college’s assistant director of athletics, Sutyak also served as the associate director of athletics before assuming the interim athletic director post last year. As an interim director, he oversaw the renovation of the Tokarz Team Room into a varsity weight room, guided a committee that worked to secure a licensing agreement for the college’s logos and marks, hired seven full-time athletics staff members, and represented the department on the Vice President of Student Affairs leadership team. This past January, Wheaton received the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA)/Jostens Community Service Honorable Mention Award in the category of ‘On-Going Project’ at the NCAA Convention.
Instrumental in the implementation of the Lyons Athletic Club (LAC), which is designed to provide financial support for Wheaton’s intercollegiate athletics program, Sutyak is highly involved on campus. He served on the President’s Athletics Review Task Force during the 2010-11 academic year and currently serves on Wheaton’s Homecoming Committee, the President's Action Committee on Inclusive Excellence (PACIE), and the Yellow Wood Commission.
"Serving my alma mater is a dream come true for me,” explained Sutyak. “Having the privilege to obtain my degree here and now work here is an honor that I do not take lightly. I am very excited to continue working with and being a part of the Wheaton community. We will continue to work with the faculty and staff to enhance the Wheaton educational experience, with the goal to continually work to provide an environment where our student-athletes can thrive in the classroom, in the community, and in their respective sports at the highest level. I want our students to receive the same outstanding student-athlete experience that I had here at Wheaton."
Outside of Wheaton, Sutyak serves on the NCAA Division III softball championship committee. He has served the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) as the playing & practice committee chair, as a member of the NEWMAC championships, officiating, and scheduling committees, and as the league's men's and women's track & field and women’s basketball liaison. Sutyak previously served on the NADIIIAA/Jostens Community Service Award Selection Committee.
Sutyak worked in a dual role as the school's assistant sports information director and an area coordinator during the 2002-03 academic year after earning his master's degree from Springfield College in 2002. Sutyak was an assistant baseball coach at Western New England University during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, where he played a part in the team’s first GNAC championship and first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2001. He also served in different capacities on Yale University's administrative team from 2003-06 as he assisted with varsity sports operations, athletic facilities supervision, and served as game operations coordinator for multiple sports.
"Moving forward, I am looking forward to working with an even broader range of staff and faculty, as well as engaging our alumnae/i in new ways, as we look to maintain our standard of excellence in athletics here at Wheaton,” said Sutyak. “This is a tremendous institution, with great people teaching, working and learning every single day. I am excited to continue to be a part of this community in this role."
A Scarborough, Maine, native, Sutyak is a 2000 Wheaton graduate and former four-year baseball player with the Lyons, where he was a member of the program’s first two NEWMAC championship teams as well as its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2000. He also tied the NCAA record for home runs in one inning with two.