Grays Harbor College Announces Changes in Athletic Program
Posted on: Jun, 7, 2023
This week, Grays Harbor College announced changes in its Athletic program including updates to the collegiate sport offerings and a reorganized administrative structure. In the coming academic year, GHC’s Athletic program will focus on areas of interest for student athletes. The collegiate sports offered will include baseball, softball, men’s golf, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s wrestling. The College will also continue to offer a co-ed Esports program and is considering adding a volleyball program in 2024, which has seen substantial student interest historically.
“We are committed to building a comprehensive collegiate athletic experience for our student athletes that includes academic achievement, competitive athletics, and opportunities to pursue interests and passions,” said Dr. Cal Erwin-Svoboda, the Vice President of Student Services at GHC. “The changes announced today are part of a long-term effort to strengthen Choker Athletics, which was impacted by the pandemic and has seen staff turnover in recent years.”
As part of its effort to strengthen the Athletic program, GHC requested an audit from the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC), which concluded this spring. The audit process included a full day of comprehensive interviews with multiple constituents of the Athletic program. The audit team consisted of Marco Azurdia, NWAC Executive Director, and representatives from peer colleges.
During the interview sessions, the student athletes who were interviewed noted areas for improvement but shared that they had a positive experience overall in regard to academics, the college community, and athletics. Ultimately, the audit report stated, “despite the constant turnover in recent years, there is currently a very capable and committed staff in the Athletic department and College administration.” Following the results of the audit, Dr. Erwin-Svoboda said, “we are deeply grateful to the NWAC audit team for their time and belief in Grays Harbor College as a critical west region member of the Association.”
In recent months, the College has made strides toward its goals regarding the administration of the Athletic program. After an open and competitive search process, GHC hired Mitchell Margaris for the role of Athletic Director. Margaris brings to the role years of experience supporting student athletes, coaches, and ongoing athletics operations in a variety of roles and responsibilities since he started as a student at GHC in 2015.
The administrative focus of the Athletic program will shift to roster management, professional development that will include coach mentoring and training, evaluation of programs and facilities, and a practical approach to recruiting student athletes.
Dr. Erwin-Svoboda explained that the shift in focus will include working to revitalize the community’s involvement with the Athletic program, provide more opportunities to support Choker athletes, and enhance the College’s ability to compete. “We know that Choker Athletics is a source of pride in Grays Harbor and for GHC alumni everywhere, and we greatly appreciate our community’s support over the years,” said Dr. Erwin-Svoboda. “I am hopeful that this new direction helps GHC grow the Athletic program to its full potential for the next generation of Choker athletes.”