President Mary Lou Retelle to chair GNAC Presidents' Council

WINTHROP, Mass – Longtime Great Northeast Athletic Conference Commissioner Joe Walsh is pleased to announce the 2018-19 leading roles for both the GNAC Presidents' Council and Executive Committee.

Anna Maria College President Mary Lou Retelle will serve as chair of the GNAC Presidents' Council for the 2018-19 academic year, replacing Rivier University President Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM.

As the GNAC continues to promote student-athlete success, Retelle will work with Commissioner Walsh and the conference's other 12 presidents in a strategic effort to enhance the student-athlete experience.

Retelle became the first woman in more than 20 years to serve as the Anna Maria president, taking office in 2015 after first joining the school in 2011 as executive vice president. Prior to that, she spent 15 years at Merrimack College and was also a consultant at Suffolk University.

Buley, who helped oversee a successful 2017-18 academic year in the GNAC, has previously served on the NCAA Division III Chancellors/Presidents Advisory Group – the same committee that Saint Joseph's College of Maine President James Dlugos is currently a member of on a national level.

On the GNAC Executive Committee, which is made up by members of the league's AD Council, Suffolk Director of Athletics Cary McConnell will step in as chair, replacing former Johnson & Wales University (RI) Director of Athletics Jamie Marcoux, who in June became NCAA Division-II Assumption College's fifth director of athletics in its 114-year history.

McConnell's duties will include, in conjunction with Commissioner Walsh, setting agendas and conducting AD Council meetings. He produced 17 consecutive 20-win seasons at the helm of the Suffolk baseball program before taking over the reigns of the Rams athletic department in October 2014.

University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) Athletic Director and Associate VP of Student Affairs Bill Cardarelli and Emmanuel College Director of Athletics and Recreation Brendan McWilliams will also serve on the GNAC Executive Committee with McConnell.

Prior to McConnell and Marcoux, Saint Joseph's of Maine Athletic Director Brian Curtin served as the Executive Committee chair, helping the conference staff and its administrators enter a crucial strategic planning stage.

The GNAC has expanded both its core membership and championship offerings in recent years. Regis (Mass.) began its time as a full league member in 2017-18, while Colby-Sawyer College became the conference's newest core member on July 1.

The GNAC also sponsored three new championship events during the 2017-18 academic year – men's swimming & diving as well as men's and women's outdoor track & field

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