After 12 years as Deerfield Academy’s Athletic Director, Mr. Charles “Chip” Davis has decided to step down at the end of this school year but will continue teaching History and Economics. Several months ago, the Academy released an ambitious job description to find a replacement for Mr. Davis and over 300 candidates responded.
In order to take on the task of sifting through such a vast pool of candidates, a committee was formed to conduct a series of application readings and interviews. The committee was comprised of teachers and faculty members including Mr. Conrad Pitcher, Ms. Genevieve Pitt, Mr. Michael Schloat, Ms. Jess Lapachinski, as well as several members of the administration.
After narrowing down the pool of 300, the committee conducted phone interviews with 12 potential candidates. From there, four finalists were invited to campus to meet with the committee as well as several student-athletes including Annie Blasberg ’16, Zeke Emerson ’16, Jan Menafee ’16, and Meghan Halloran ’17.
Mr. Davis commended the committee’s work in selecting candidates with a wide age range, a gender split, and different backgrounds. Among the final four were two men and two women, and while two hail from other prep schools, two work at NESCACs (New England Small College Athletic Conference).
Blasberg, a tri-varsity athlete, was grateful for her role in the process: “It was a cool experience to be able to talk with each of the four candidates, all of whom were extremely qualified. We were really given a voice throughout the whole process.”
Emerson, a tri-varsity athlete, stated, “It was great meeting the candidates and getting to hear their ideas. We also were very eager to share our ideas, concerns, and what we want to see stay the same about Deerfield athletics.”
Mr. Bob Howe, the current Athletic Director at The Loomis Chaffee School, will be joining the Big Green next fall in Mr. Davis’ place as Athletic Director. He commented, “Coming to Deerfield is so exciting for me in so many ways! [It’s] a great school with a great reputation and I, along with many coaches and administrators, have been given an opportunity to make the school even better!”
Having graduated from Loomis Chaffee himself, Howe is well acquainted with boarding school culture and athletics. “I leave Loomis not because I’m disappointed with the school in any way. I grew up here as a faculty kid and graduated from the school. I then left for 25 years and came back to campus in my current role as Athletic Director. Much of my life has been in one place and sometimes it’s just natural to look for new challenges and opportunities. When I read the job description put forward by the Board of Trustees and the senior administrative team at Deerfield I knew right away this was an opportunity I couldn’t look past,” stated Howe.
Howe plans to arrive on campus this summer, and Mr. Davis is optimistic that he will transition easily into the Deerfield community. Howe remarked, “Chip Davis’ leadership and direction of the program has always produced competitive teams and good sportsmanship. One of the things I’m most excited about is coming to a place like Deerfield and having the support from the previous Athletic Director. He has always been a class act to me and to our Loomis teams. Chip is a highly regarded Athletic Director among the prep school circuit and to have him close by will be a huge comfort to me.” With confidence in and deep reverence for Deerfield Athletics, Mr. Davis believes that “Deerfield is in good hands.”