Salem Community College has named Robert Bunnell as part-time athletic director starting September 1. Bunnell has served the last two years as director of athletics and recreation at Centenary College, where he oversaw 15 varsity sports at the NCAA Division III school in Shreveport, La.
Bunnell has over 40 years of experience in higher education athletics. Prior to Centenary, he worked at Neumann University as dean of continuing adult and professional studies, associate professor and director of the sport and entertainment management program. Previously, while at Purdue University Calumet, Bunnell was assistant vice chancellor for student affairs, health, recreation, and sports/director of athletics.
Last November, the SCC Board of Trustees unanimously voted to authorize President Michael Gorman to restore athletics over five years. Gorman said Bunnell will lay the foundation for men’s and women’s sports to return starting in the 2019-2020 academic year. Which sports and how many must be determined.
SCC competed in women’s soccer, men's and women's basketball and baseball through the 2013-2014 academic year. Those funds were reallocated to improve student retention and completion programs. As recently as 2011-2012, SCC also fielded teams in men’s soccer, softball and golf.
“Bob Bunnell’s decades of experience in athletics administration and coaching will be a major asset to Salem Community College,” said Gorman. “This fall, Bob will introduce himself to high school athletic directors and coaches, and lay the groundwork for the restoration of SCC athletics.”
“I am very excited to join the Salem community and have the opportunity to help bring athletics back to the College,” said Bunnell. “President Gorman’s enthusiasm for this venture is contagious, and I am looking forward to working with him, the faculty and staff, and the entire community to create opportunities for students in our area to continue their athletic careers as they pursue their degrees at Salem Community College. I’m anxious to meet the athletic directors and coaches in the area as we begin to build a new tradition of Oaks athletic teams.”
Bunnell has also served as director of athletics and recreation and head softball coach at Franklin & Marshall College, and director of recreation services and associate professor of recreation and leisure studies at Temple University. Early in his career, he coached baseball at Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (now Philadelphia University), Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (now University of the Sciences) and Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.
He holds a doctorate in physical education from Temple, a master’s in health and physical education from East Stroudsburg University, a bachelor’s degree from SUNY-Brockport and an associate degree from Orange County (N.Y.) Community College.