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Marcella K. Zalot has been named director of athletics at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, beginning July 1. Zalot has been the associate athletics director and senior women’s athletic administrator at Colby for five years and served as acting director of athletics during the current academic year while Richard Whitmore was on a sabbatical leave.

Whitmore, Colby’s director of athletics since 1987 and head basketball coach since 1970, will continue to coach men’s basketball and will assume a variety of administrative duties related to planning in athletics as well as other broader operational matters.

Zalot came to Colby in 1997 following four years as assistant director of athletics at Harvard University. Prior to that she worked for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from 1989 to 1992 as an eligibility representative. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Smith College and a master’s degree in sport management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she was graduate assistant coach of women’s basketball.

As the associate director of athletics, Zalot has been responsible for overseeing budgets and other administrative duties associated with the 32 intercollegiate varsity sports, 12 club sports and the intramural program at Colby. Working with Whitmore she has been involved in the hiring and supervision of coaching staff and managing Colby’s athletic facilities. She has participated in various all-campus initiatives including an Eating Disorders Task Force, the Colby Volunteer Center Advisory Committee, the Workplace Safety Committee, the Athletic Advisory Committee and Project Ally.

Zalot said it will be a privilege and an honor to lead the department. She praised the strong foundation already in place, including both the strength of the college and of the athletics department. “I appreciate all the work Dick Whitmore has done and the way he has prepared me for this new phase,” she said, praising Whitmore’s capable leadership over the last 15 years.

Whitmore, who took over Colby’s men’s basketball program in 1970, will be back coaching the basketball team next year after taking a year off from coaching duties last season during his sabbatical. “At this point in my career, it is time to pass the mantle of chair on,” he said. “Marcella is highly qualified and prepared to meet the challenges of departmental leadership, and she’ll do a great job for Colby and our department. Meanwhile, I look forward with great enthusiasm to being the men’s basketball coach at Colby for a long time to come.”