ITHACA, N.Y. – Ken Kutler, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports at Ithaca College, has announced his retirement effective June 28, 2013. Kutler is currently serving in his 10th year in that position at Ithaca College and his tenure has been marked by significant upgrades to the college’s athletic facilities, tremendous advances in Title IX compliance, growth in fundraising initiatives, enhancements in the recruitment of student athletes, and expansion of the recreational sports program.
“Ken Kutler has been a dedicated supporter of our student-athletes and his contributions to our athletic program have been many,” Ithaca College Provost and Vice President For Educational Affairs Marisa Kelly said. “We wish him all the best in his retirement.”
The Athletics & Events Center opened in 2011, including Glazer Arena, the Aquatics Pavilion, Higgins Stadium and the Wheeler Tennis Courts. It provides venues for Ithaca’s field hockey, lacrosse, tennis, swimming & diving, crew, and indoor track & field programs. During Kutler’s tenure the department has seen significant renovations to Freeman Field (baseball) and Kostrinsky Field (softball), Carp Wood Field (soccer), Ceracche Center office complex and weight room, and the Robert B. Tallman Rowing Center opened in the fall of 2012 as the new home for the crew programs. He is currently involved in plans for renovating the Hill Center, a practice and competitive facility for Ithaca’s basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and gymnastics programs. Kutler also helped oversee the introduction of Ithaca's newest varsity sports for women -- golf and sculling.
“Over the past 10 years my direct supervisor, former Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life Brian McAree supported and implemented program improvements suggested by our coaches and administrative staff,” Kutler said. “Many of the advances we made would not have been possible without his understanding and backing. His commitment to IC's students was second-to-none.”
During his time at Ithaca, the Bombers have won two NCAA championships and seen student-athletes claim six individual national titles. Every year Ithaca has placed within the top 30 of the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings; the standings for the Directors’ Cup encompass nearly 450 schools in Division III and are determined by a school’s finish in NCAA playoff competition in its sports.
"I have had the pleasure of watching our highly focused student-athletes compete with passion and a commitment to excellence resulting in many outstanding performances,” Kutler said. "I have also been blessed by working with coaches and administrators in athletics and recreational sports who are dedicated professionals and share the passion and commitment for success displayed by our student athletes."
The Bombers have also won the Empire 8 Commissioner’s Cup every year during Kutler's time at Ithaca. The Commissioner’s Cup recognizes the conference's most successful athletic department based on standings and championship tournament results in Empire 8 sports.
Kutler came to Ithaca after serving as director of athletics at two other Division III institutions: Frostburg State and Hartwick College. At Hartwick, he oversaw a 24-sport intercollegiate athletic program including two sports that competed at the Division I level.
A past president of the Empire 8 conference, Kutler spent 10 years as women's soccer coach at Hartwick and guided the Hawks to five appearances in the NCAA championship tournament including two trips to the national quarterfinals. He also served as the first head coach for the Athletes-in-Action Women’s National Soccer Team.
He is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University, where he was a starting striker and regional All-American on soccer teams winning one NAIA Championship in three final four appearances. Kutler holds a master's degree in education from Temple and a doctorate in education from West Virginia. He is a member of the Frostburg State Hall of Fame and was inducted, with the rest of his soccer teammates, into East Stroudsburg's Hall of Fame.