Castleton Ski Coach Chris Eder sits at his new desk in the athletic complex, proud to be the new admission-athletics liaison. While in deep conversation on the phone with fellow coaches, he is flanked by bumper stickers of Killington resort and Okemo stuck on the front of his desk and on his jacket hung up in the corner just waiting for the first snow.
Just last year however, Eder sat at a desk in the admissions office in Wright House. He and his fellow counselors were always busy with incoming students and phone inquiries from perspective students.
Most of the calls in the admissions office are actually meant for student services and are transferred there. The other half are either students looking for a status check of their eligibility or coaches looking for information on recruits. Coaches frequently would be calling back repeatedly if counselors could not give them information quick.
Erica Terault, an admissions counselor gave a good description of the tension between athletics and admissions.
“I really enjoyed working with them … but some of them can be really demanding sometimes. I felt sometimes coaches wanted us to drop everything and had no respect for the process,” she said.
As Castleton grows, the admissions office has gotten busier with the increasing number of student inquiries.
Just a few years ago, Castleton had only about 1,900 students total. Now there are about 2,200 students enrolled and the college’s President, Dave Wolk, announced at the 2013 convocation he is looking to increase the student body over the course of his next 10-year plan to expand the school, keeping admissions busier than ever.
Linda Sheridan, office coordinator of admissions, Linda Sheridan is psyched about Eder’s new role.
“Yeah, he’s doing great there. Not only can he be there for skiing, but it solves problems for our counselors,” she said.
With Eder having 15 years of admissions experience and 11 years as head ski coach for CSC’s men’s and women’s ski teams, he was the perfect candidate to be a liaison between the athletics and admissions department.
The new liaison also makes sense because along with the college, athletic programs have grown, most notably with the addition of football in 2009. They’ve been much busier with recruiting since then.
When Athletic Director Deanna Tyson was asked whether Eder’s new role has relieved any tension between admissions and athletics, she was quick with a response.
“That’s exactly what I planned,” she said, adding she was the one who brought the idea to the table.
Tyson had gone to St. Michaels College the previous year and met their athletics-admissions liaison. When she met him, she said it was like a light bulb going off in her head.
“We need this for Castleton!” she said.
Tyson proposed the idea to the Castleton administration and they fell in love with it. Now Eder is a direct connection from the athletic department to the admissions office. He can look up any information of recruits for the coaches and also help the admissions office if they ever needed an extra hand.
As a coach, Eder understands the needs of coaches and he said that’s valuable in his new role.
“Most athletic recruits have a lot of other options besides Castleton, and the sooner they hear from us the sooner we can be in the equation when they make a decision, he said. “Everything is going really well so far, and I’m looking forward to meeting more students and more recruits.”