By: Cathy Poston
With a cluttered desk and bare walls, it is evident that Patty Keller has not had time to settle into her new office.
Keller, who replaced retiring athletic director Robert Smith, wants to make it fun to be a student athlete at CCC.
“I want to change bad habits and bad behaviors and to help build strength and character in the athletes, so those that do have what it takes to succeed may be recruited by a 4-year school and possibly by the pros,” she said.
Keller’s own background in education and sports is extensive, starting well over a decade ago.
Keller grew up in Belvidere and attended the local high school, where she played soccer and softball.
After graduating from high school in 1994, she went to Greensboro College in Greensboro, NC and earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and sports medicine.
Continuing with her education, Keller went to Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC and then the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administration. She is enrolled at Rowan University in Glassboro and anticipates graduating in 2011 with a master’s degree in education leadership.
Keller was previously employed by Rowan University as assistant athletic director for compliance.
She also worked at Rutgers-Camden campus in multiple capacities including- assistant athletic director/senior’s women’s administrator and adjunct professor of psychology.
CCC has seven sports teams, and Keller would like to add five more.
One of the sports that Keller wants to add is lacrosse, which she played at Greensboro as goal keeper.
She is aware that money is an issue, but she doesn’t believe that will be a problem. She is committed to making positive changes within the athletic department.
Penny Kempf, a former co-worker of Keller’s who is presently head coach of cross country and assistant athletic director at Rowan University, said, “Patty is efficient and helpful. She took our student athletes and their well being and went above and beyond to make sure that they were successful in the classroom and in the community.”
When asked what she thought about the new director, “excited, because Patty has a good vision and it’s time for a change.” said Devin Burris, CCC’s softball team pitcher.
“I want to increase communication on campus between the athletic department and students and staff by posting flyers around campus of upcoming events so there can be more support,” said Keller.
Another goal Keller would like to accomplish is creating both and athletic department and Facebook webpage, which would be separate from the college pages. She explained that updates could be made instantly by the department and be current at all times.
“I am passionate about making positive changes to the department and program,” said Keller.