Lori Runksmeier, who has spent nearly 25 years in athletic administration – the last 16 as director of athletics at New England College through 2014-15 – was named the eighth director of athletics in the summer of 2015.
At New England College – an NCAA Division III institution of 1,000 undergraduates affiliated with the North Atlantic Conference – Runksmeier oversaw 19 intercollegiate programs, as well as club and recreation sports and served as an adjunct faculty member in the kinesiology department. Under Runksmeier, the NEC athletic department added seven programs and a lighted turf field for field hockey, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and club and recreation sports and conducted facility renovations to its indoor practice facility and outdoor fields, hockey rink, and athletic training room.
Runksmeier says that she was initially attracted to the position because of the “competitiveness of the program. That’s the intriguing part, the exciting part about the position. Eastern has a great reputation in New England for its athletic program. (Winning) matters. We keep score. It makes it more fun to go to work if you’re working on getting to the next level.
Prior to her appointment at NEC, the Ledyard, IA native spent three years as coordinator of athletic department relations at Division III College of Saint Benedict after serving as administrative assistant to the director of women’s athletics at Division II St. Cloud State University for four years and as assistant sports information director at Division II Minnesota State University, Mankato for one.