After thirty-four years of service to the school, Illinois College Athletic Director Gale Vaughn said goodbye to the college January 13.
“He had a long and wonderful career and played a significant role at the College,” says President Farley.
In an email sent to the campus community, Farley wrote that, “I accept Gale’s resignation with a heavy heart, recognizing Gale’s substantial contributions to the College . . . I respect Gale’s desire and decision to resign his position.”
Vaughn, alum since 1978, started his career at IC right after graduation. He worked for Admissions and would later become the Director of Admissions before making the transition to Athletics.
“It was a good time for change for Gale. I think he looked at the Athletic Director position as something he could do and would like to do,” says basketball coach Jay Eckhouse.
Eckhouse and others, including Matt Wing, Director of Sports Information, and Mike Worrell, basketball coach, thought highly of Vaughn’s time.
“Gale was a great guy to work for. He was a guy who let you do your job . . . It was a great run with him as Athletic Director here. It was a great experience,” says Eckhouse.
As for the sudden resignation, the Athletic Department received the notice at the same time as the campus community. Worrell had been at basketball practice when the email was sent and Eckhouse had been out of town.
“The staff received [the email] the same day we did. I don’t know anything behind his reason to resign,” says Wing.
“He handed me his letter of resignation and he resigned. There is no story,” says Farley. “When any person leaves a campus, we look towards the future.”
The College will launch a national search to hire a new Athletic Director. A new Director should be hired by the beginning of June. Though both Worrell and Eckhouse speculate that some members of the current Athletic Department will apply, they remain unsure of whether hiring inside or outside of IC is the best option.
“I think there are advantages to doing it both ways. Sometimes new eyes and new blood is not a bad thing,” says Eckhouse.
“I’ve seen it both ways . . . what the president feels is best for the College is the direction we’ll go,” says Worrell.
As for now, it has not been decided whether a recognition party will be held for Vaughn.
“Gale was a loyal Illinois College guy. He was at Illinois College from 1974 . . . he’s been here that whole time and served the College well. He was just a great guy,” says Eckhouse.
Farley agrees: “I appreciate how much he has done for this college. I am enormously grateful.”