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Simpson College announces changes in athletics leadership

Keith Hackett to serve as an interim athletic director while Bob Nutgrass returns to faculty


Simpson College (simpson.edu) announced today a change in leadership in the Intercollegiate Athletics Department. President Marsha Kelliher has appointed Keith Hackett interim athletics director and current athletics director Bob Nutgrass will return to the faculty in January.

“We are extremely grateful for Bob’s years of service to Intercollegiate Athletics at Simpson College,” Kelliher said. “His long-standing service to the institution and to our athletics department is unsurpassed. His legacy will be long and we are grateful he will return to the classroom in January.”

Nutgrass became Simpson’s Athletic Director in 2018, overseeing all aspects of Simpson’s 19 NCAA Division III varsity sports. In his 30 years with Simpson College, he has held numerous roles ranging from faculty member, coach and administrator. Prior to his elevation to athletic director, Nutgrass served as an assistant athletic director and the program’s NCAA compliance coordinator. He was also the Sport Science and Health Education Department Chair; a faculty member since 1990; head men’s tennis coach; head women’s tennis coach; the winningest tennis coach in school history, going 91-103 on the men’s side and 91-56 on the women’s side; and was 1997 IIAC Women’s Tennis Coach of the Year.

“We welcome Keith Hackett, former Cornell College director of athletics to the Simpson family and look forward to all he will bring to our programs,” Kelliher said.

In the three years under Hackett’s direction, the Cornell Rams claimed eight Midwest Conference team championships, five NCAA tournament berths and nine individual All-America awards. Prior to his time at Cornell, he was director of athletics at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, senior associate athletic director at the University of Nevada-Reno and associate athletic director at Northern Illinois University.

“I look forward to working with everyone at Simpson College,” Hackett said. “I am grateful for this opportunity and know that along with everyone in the athletics department, I am eager to get to work and start making a difference in our programs.”

Hackett will serve in the interim role during the national search for a permanent Athletic Director.

Contact Information
Cathy Cole, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Communication
Direct: 515-961-1595
Email: cathy.cole@simpson.edu