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Long-time Dartmouth staffer Bob Ceplikas named Acting Athletics Director

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 02/25/09 • Media Contact: Susan Knapp (603) 646-3661

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Bod Ceplikas
Bob Ceplikas, Acting Director of Athletics and Recreation (photo by Mark Washburn)

Robert A. Ceplikas, a 1978 graduate of Dartmouth College and 30-year veteran of the college’s staff in athletics and admissions, has been named Acting Director of Athletics and Recreation, effective July 1. Dean of the College Tom Crady announced the appointment of Ceplikas (pronounced SEP-luh-kuss) today.

Ceplikas will serve for the 2009-2010 academic year while the college conducts a national search for a successor to Josie Harper, who has served as the college’s seventh athletics director for the past seven years, and who recently announced her plans to retire at the end of the current academic year.

Dean Crady remarked, “I am delighted that Bob Ceplikas has agreed to serve as Acting Director of Athletics and Recreation. Bob brings a wealth of experience to the position and has been a valued long-term colleague to many of us in the Dartmouth community. His experience with both fundraising within athletics and long-term planning will be particularly useful during this transitional year. Prior to initiating a national search for a new director, I will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the Athletics and Recreation programs as a whole, as a normal best practice prior to a search for a department head.”

As Acting Director, Ceplikas will oversee 34 varsity sports (16 men’s, 16 women’s, and two coed) as well as comprehensive club sports and intramural programs in which nearly three-quarters of Dartmouth’s undergraduates participate. Dartmouth Athletics also offers physical education courses, the Fitness and Lifestyle Improvement Program (FLIP), and recreational activities serving nearly 1,500 individuals per day.

“I am very honored to have the opportunity to lead the department during this transition,” stated Ceplikas. “The economy will continue to present some special challenges, but we have an outstanding staff, some terrific new facilities, and strong support from the administration. We have made some important strides in recent years, and with continued help from generous alumni and other supporters, I am confident we can continue to make progress.”

Ceplikas has been the Deputy Director of Athletics for the past 15 years, serving under both Harper and former Athletics Director Dick Jaeger. He currently oversees the department’s annual giving programs including the Athletic Sponsor Program (to support recruiting) and individual sports’ Friends Groups. Total donations have grown nearly four times from approximately $500,000 to nearly $2 million annually during his tenure.

Current Athletic Director Josie Harper commented, “It is very important to the department and me during this time of transition to have a person whose leadership, understanding, and dedication will help to continue to move the department forward. There is no better choice than Bob Ceplikas.”

Ceplikas played a central role in the planning and coordination of athletic facility improvement projects totaling $84 million, including Boss Tennis Center, Scully-Fahey Field, Corey Ford Rugby Clubhouse, the Fitness Center in Alumni Gymnasium, and Floren Varsity House. He has also served as the departmental liaison to the Admissions and Financial Aid office.

With extensive supervisory experience, Ceplikas has most recently overseen varsity athletics communications, and marketing and promotions. He has also played a pivotal role in long-range planning and assisted the athletics director with external relations and overall management of the department.

Upon graduating from Dartmouth in 1978, Ceplikas joined the college’s admissions office, where he held four different positions in his 11 years on staff. For six of those years (1979-85), he also was an assistant coach for the Big Green women’s hockey team, helping build that program from a fledgling varsity squad to a competitive team. After earning a master’s degree in education from Stanford University in 1990, Ceplikas returned to his alma mater as an athletics administrator, which led to his appointment as Deputy Director of Athletics in 1994.

Ceplikas has also been a long-time volunteer youth hockey coach locally, and for the past three years, he has coached the Lebanon High School varsity girls’ hockey team. He and his wife Lynn, an English teacher at Hanover High School, reside in Lebanon with their daughter Holly, 17, and son Luke, 15, who both attend Lebanon High School.

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