Lake Forest College Vice President for Career Advancement and Athletics Jackie Slaats announced Friday the promotion of Blake Theisen to Interim Director of Athletics.
Theisen, who came to the College in 2012 and was elevated from Assistant to Associate Director of Athletics in November of 2017, will now be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department. Slaats, Lake Forest's Director of Athletics from 1992 until the current transition, will continue to oversee the Athletic Department and the Career Advancement Center.
Theisen is a 2008 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, where he majored in health and fitness with a minor in business management. He was also a defensive lineman for four years on the footbal team and served as a captain as a senior. In 2012 he earned his master's degree in human performance from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota, where he also served as a strength and conditioning coach.
Since his arrival in Lake Forest as Athletic Programming and Intramural Sports Coordinator in 2012, Theisen's duties have expanded to include coordinating the Forester Athletic Network (F.A.N. Club) club sports, athletic alumni engagement events, and faculty and staff fitness programming. He has also managed the webcasting of Forester Athletic contests and has been heavily involved in the daily functions of the department.
"Blake has been extremely valuable to Forester Athletics since he came to the College," noted Slaats. "He has taken on leadership roles in numerous areas and has been heavily involved in nearly every departmental initiative over the last few years. I respect Blake immensely and am proud of his continued growth as an administrator. He has also developed great relationships with our coaches and administrative staff, as well as other departments throughout campus, and I am confident Lake Forest College Athletics will continue to experience a high level of success under his leadership."
"This is a terrific opportunity for my family and me, and I could not be more excited for the new challenges that lie ahead," began Theisen. "I am incredibly thankful to Coach Slaats for the support and mentorship she has provided since my arrival at Lake Forest and grateful for having her years of experience continue to serve as a resource for me going forward. I have a tremendous amount of respect and confidence in our administrative staff and head coaches to continue the Tradition of Excellence that has driven Forester Athletics under Jackie's direction."
In addition to Theisen's promotion, three other members of the staff have been elevated within the department. Chris Pier, Director of Budget and Compliance, and Brian Bruha '02, Director of Athletic Facilities, will each add Associate Director to their titles and Jim Catanzaro, Head Football Coach, will also become Assistant Director. "Chris and Brian have been serving on the Senior Athletic Administative Team and deserve credit for many of our department accomplishments while Jim has played an integral role in the growing success of the Forester Game Plan and sports performance initiatives," commented Slaats.