By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Leslie Shevlin has been promoted by Willamette University to associate athletics director and senior woman administrator, Director of Athletics Rob Passage announced today. Shevlin takes on her new roles immediately after serving as Willamette's head men's and women's swimming coach for the past nine years.
"I have been looking at going into athletic administration for a few years," Shevlin said. "I have been a member of Women Leaders in College Sports since 2015. In 2017, I helped procure items to raise money for the WLCS Foundation Fund. I wanted to join the ranks of these women making a difference in NCAA athletics. More than just that, I wanted to make that different here at Willamette University for our student-athletes and coaches. My spouse and I have grown to love the Willamette and Salem communities. I am excited to take on this new role."
"I am very excited to have Leslie join our administrative team and I'm thankful that she has accepted the challenge of this position," Passage said. "Her commitment to Willamette Athletics and our student-athletes has been outstanding during her time as our head coach of men's and women's swimming. I am confident she will be able to take the positive impact she has had on our swim programs and expand it to benefit all of our nineteen programs and over 350 student-athletes."
The new job means a change for Shevlin, who has guided the Bearcat swimming teams since joining the coaching staff prior to the 2009-10 season. Shevlin received a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2003 and earned a master's degree from Duquesne University (Pa.) in 2005. She was a graduate assistant at Duquesne for two seasons before serving as an assistant coach at the University of New Mexico for four years.
"I have been very proud to be a coach for the past 15 years, especially the last nine years at Willamette as the head men's and women's swimming coach," Shevlin said. "Working with these student-athletes over the past nine years has been challenging and fulfilling. The swimmers have taught me so much about myself and I know I will take that knowledge with me into my new administrative role."
While attending UNC Wilmington, Shevlin was a competitor on the swimming team all four years. She also was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at UNCW. She has developed a team chemistry as the head coach of the Bearcats.
"I will miss being on deck with them and not being around for every breakthrough that they have at practices and at meets," Shevlin commented. "I am grateful that I will still be at Willamette to support them in a new way."
Shevlin replaces Judy Gordon, who retired from Willamette this spring after 22 years of service to the Bearcats. She became the associate athletics director and senior woman administrator in 2003.
"I am looking forward to working together with our administrative team to support our student-athletes and our coaches," Shevlin commented. "We do a lot to support our student-athletes in higher education. As I become more comfortable with the day-to-day duties of the job, I am looking forward to helping our coaches be the most supported coaching staff in the Northwest Conference."
Shevlin will be the compliance coordinator for the Athletics Department and will be the primary contact with the Office of Human Resources. She will oversee budget operations within Athletics. She will continue to serve as a liaison for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She will represent Willamette at various NWC meeting. On campus, she will be active in the Academic Alert program and in promoting diversity and inclusion.
"I am looking forward to the new challenges that this job will bring," Shevlin said. "I am also happy that I will get to continue to work closely with our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee."
NOTE: Assistant Coach Brent Summers has been promoted to head coach of men's and women's swimming at Willamette.