Tim W. Wheaton, an associate director of athletics who has worked in the Athletic Department as an administrator and coach for about 30 years, will depart Harvard in January to serve as Colby College’s athletic director.
Wheaton served as a longtime head coach of the women’s soccer team, and in the 18 years of his tenure, the team played in eight NCAA tournaments and four Ivy League championships. Following his time as a coach, Wheaton worked in the Athletic Department as an assistant athletic director from 2005-2010; he became an associate director in 2010. He also assistant coached the men’s lacrosse team when he first came to Harvard in 1985.
As Colby’s new athletic director, Wheaton will oversee the school’s 32 Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference varsity teams.
“It’s bittersweet,” Wheaton said of his upcoming departure. “I’m excited about the opportunity, but I’m sad to leave a fantastic place that I owe so much to.”
Wheaton said he looks forward to taking on new challenges at Colby, but will greatly miss the Harvard community. His involvement on campus extended beyond the Athletic Department; he also served as a freshman proctor for six years, and his daughter was born while he was living in Grays Hall.
“I’m really grateful for the students and the people I was able to work with,” Wheaton said. “I’m excited to have an opportunity to take some of the things I’ve learned at Harvard as a coach and administrator and see if they can help Colby achieve their goals.”
Robert L. Scalise, Harvard’s Athletic Director, praised Wheaton in a statement in a press release detailing the upcoming departure.
“Tim had a great coaching career at Harvard and served our department very well during his tenure as an administrator,” Scalise said. “He has a real understanding of the challenges that student-athletes and coaches face. Tim is passionate about what he does, and he truly believes that athletics serve as an important educational resource.”
Katie E. Shields ’06, who played on the Harvard women’s soccer team when Wheaton coached the group, said Wheaton’s focus was “always much bigger than just soccer.” Shields now serves as head coach of the Saint Louis University women’s soccer team and credits her experience with athletics at Harvard as the reason she became a coach.
“I’m forever grateful for the way he prepared us as players and people in the program,” said Shields, who also assistant coached Harvard’s women’s soccer team before becoming head coach at SLU. “I try to do a lot of that in how I operate today [as head coach].”
Wheaton graduated from Drew University in New Jersey, where he played soccer and lacrosse. He was Drew’s 1983 athlete of the year and was later inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame.
—Staff writer Annie E. Schugart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @AnnieSchugart.