Diane St. Denis is no longer the athletic director at Red Deer College.
After five years in the position, St-Denis was let go from the job this week. The choice was made through an ongoing review of athletics, in part because of the postponement of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Association’s fall semester season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the fall semester pause in ACAC competition, RDC is taking the opportunity to review the positioning of RDC athletics within the college’s structure to optimize athletics programming,” said college president Peter Nunoda in a statement.
“We continue to be committed to supporting student athletes in their studies and in competition at the local, provincial and national levels. This week, the decision was made that Diane St-Denis will no longer serve RDC in the role of athletic director.”
St-Denis tweeted Wednesday that her time as athletic director was over and thanked student athletes and staff for their efforts.
“To my staff and coaches – thank you for your support and making me a better leader and person,” she said in a thread on the social media site Wednesday.
“To our student athletes – I’ve learned so much from you. Thank you.”
Over the past few years, St-Denis has helped the school secure a number of provincial and national tournaments. Most notably, RDC hosted the 2019 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s National Volleyball Championship.
It is also set to host the 2021 Alberta Colleges Athletic Association Women’s Volleyball and Basketball Championships in the spring.
“I would like to personally thank Diane for the resilient leadership she has provided to our athletics program since 2015,” said Nunoda.
“She has been an integral member in the success of RDC’s athletics department, and a strong advocate for our athletics teams, our student athletes and our coaching personnel. I wish Diane all the best in her future endeavors.”
Well-wishes poured in from across the local athletic community. Teri Baumgardt summed up the efforts of the former athletic director like this:
“We wish you all the best Diane, you have given your heart and soul to the Kings and Queens, we appreciate all you have done for the program and athletes,” she said in a Twitter post.
In the statement, RDC said it is not announcing a replacement or starting a search for a new athletic director.
“RDC remains committed to athletics and there are no additional changes to our programming or personnel at this time,” Nunoda said.