This week, Grays Harbor College announced changes in its Athletic program including updates to the collegiate sport offerings and the announcement of a new Athletic Director.
According to the college, in the coming academic year, the athletic program will focus on areas of interest for student athletes.
The collegiate sports offered will include baseball, softball, men’s golf, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s wrestling.
The college will also continue to offer a co-ed Esports program.
Comparing the list to the current offerings listed at the GHC Athletics website, this change removes women’s golf, cross country, and soccer from the options.
The college tells KXRO that they are considering re-adding a volleyball program in 2024, which had seen substantial student interest historically.
“We are committed to building a comprehensive collegiate athletic experience for our student athletes that includes academic achievement, competitive athletics, and opportunities to pursue interests and passions,” said Dr. Cal Erwin-Svoboda, the Vice President of Student Services at GHC. “The changes announced today are part of a long-term effort to strengthen Choker Athletics, which was impacted by the pandemic and has seen staff turnover in recent years.”
As part of its effort to strengthen the Athletic program, GHC requested an audit from the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC), which concluded this spring.
During the interview sessions, the student athletes who were interviewed noted areas for improvement but shared that they had a positive experience overall in regard to academics, the college community, and athletics.
Ultimately, the audit report stated, “despite the constant turnover in recent years, there is currently a very capable and committed staff in the Athletic department and College administration.”
Following the results of the audit, Dr. Erwin-Svoboda said, “we are deeply grateful to the NWAC audit team for their time and belief in Grays Harbor College as a critical west region member of the Association.”
In addition, the college announced the hiring of Mitchell Margaris as Athletic Director. The college says that Margaris started as a student at GHC in 2015 and brings years of experience in the role supporting student athletes, coaches, and ongoing athletics operations.
Dr. Erwin-Svoboda explained that the shift in focus will include working to revitalize the community’s involvement with the Athletic program, provide more opportunities to support Choker athletes, and enhance the College’s ability to compete.
“We know that Choker Athletics is a source of pride in Grays Harbor and for GHC alumni everywhere, and we greatly appreciate our community’s support over the years,” said Dr. Erwin-Svoboda. “I am hopeful that this new direction helps GHC grow the Athletic program to its full potential for the next generation of Choker athletes.”
The administrative focus of the Athletic program will shift to roster management, professional development that will include coach mentoring and training, evaluation of programs and facilities, and a practical approach to recruiting student athletes.