EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Director of Athletics Scott Kilgallon announced today he will retire from the university as of June 30 after 10 years in the Blugold athletics leadership post.
"This is a bittersweet decision for me given the many great relationships over the years with our student-athletes, athletics staff, supporters and alumni," Kilgallon said. "I have given my heart and soul the past decade, focusing on the welfare and academic success of our student-athletes and working hard to provide a great athletic experience at the highest level possible."
Kilgallon said he is being considered for athletics director positions at other institutions and is announcing his retirement now to give the university adequate time to recruit his replacement.
"My decision to look at other opportunities is tough given the great athletics staff we have developed as a team and the many friends, supporters and alumni who have helped us achieve success with our program," Kilgallon said. "I also want to thank our student finance committee and Student Senate for their invaluable support over the years to help us develop a program in which we can all be proud."
The welfare and academic success of UW-Eau Claire's student-athletes have always been Kilgallon's top priorities, said Beth Hellwig, vice chancellor for student affairs.
"Under Scott's excellent leadership, our athletics staff have worked together to develop and sustain a nationally recognized athletics program, improved our student-athletes' GPA and been nationally recognized for community service — all while ensuring that our athletics programs remain compliant with NCAA and WIAC rules," Hellwig said. "UW-Eau Claire is grateful for Scott's work to improve upon and sustain a tradition of excellence in Blugold athletics."
Kilgallon began serving as UW-Eau Claire athletics director on July 1, 2004. Under his leadership, Blugold athletics achievements included the following:
- UW-Eau Claire’s standing in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup competition among more than 440 NCAA Division III athletics programs improved from 68th place in 2004, before Kilgallon's arrival, to 28th in 2005, 27th in 2006, 18th in 2007, 10th in 2008, 12th in 2009, 16th in 2010, 14th in 2011, 15th in 2012 and 14th in 2013. The Learfield Sports Directors' Cup awards points based on each institution's qualification for and advancement in NCAA championships.
- Blugold student-athletes achieved a combined grade-point average of better than 3.0 each year, reaching the highest GPA of 3.16 during 2009-10.
- Three Blugold teams won NCAA national titles: softball in 2008, women’s cross country in 2009 and men's ice hockey in 2013. UW-Eau Claire has a total of four NCAA and five NAIA national titles.
- Eleven other Blugold teams finished fourth or better in the nation.
- UW-Eau Claire athletics received the National Association of Division III Athletics Administrators/Jostens Community Service Award four times. UW-Eau Claire has received this national award for an institution's student-athlete participation in community outreach projects a total of five times since the award program began in 1995.
- UW-Eau Claire hosted four national championships, nine regional championships and 17 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, along with numerous other postseason competitions.
- Blugold athletics teams won 27 conference championships.
- Twenty Capital One Academic All-American honors went to Blugold student-athletes (with a total of 54 Academic All-American honors going to Blugold student-athletes in UW-Eau Claire history).
- Blugold coaches earned 31 WIAC Coach of the Year awards.
- Blugold student-athletes earned 34 WIAC scholar-athlete awards.
- Blugold student-athletes earned 229 All-American honors.
- UW-Eau Claire athletics inducted 70 former student-athletes, coaches and administrators into the Blugold Hall of Fame, bringing to 200 the total number of individuals in the Hall of Fame.
Kilgallon also served on planning committees whose efforts resulted in facilities improvements for the Hobbs Ice Center renovation, McPhee Physical Education Center renovation and Bollinger Fields soccer field upgrades.
Before joining UW-Eau Claire, Kilgallon served for seven years as the director of athletics and the men's and women's cross country and track coach at Southern Vermont College.