Kari Eckheart has announced her resignation as the head volleyball coach at Gustavus in order to accept the full-time responsibilities as the Assistant Athletics Director for Student Athlete Services at the College. For the past 13 years, Eckheart has directed the Gustie volleyball program as well as served as the health promotion coordinator for Gustavus staff members and the alcohol and drug education coordinator for Gustavus student athletes. Her part-time responsibilities as the drug and alcohol education coordinator will now be upgraded and expanded to a full-time position thanks to Gustavus receiving a Strategic Alliance Matching Grant from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which will fund the position.
Under the direction of the Director of Athletics and the Director of Alcohol and Drug Education, the Assistant Athletics Director for Student Athlete Services will serve as the CHAMPS/Life Skills Coordinator, the Assistant Director of Alcohol and Drug Education, and the advisor for the Student Athlete Volunteer Educator program (SAVE). Duties will include but not be limited to creating and implementing social and developmental programming for student athletes, acting as a liaison between the Student Affairs and Athletics Department, evaluating programs and assessing effectiveness of the SAVE program and implementing the NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills program.
During her 13 years as the head volleyball coach, Eckheart directed the Gusties to an overall record of 206-163 and a league mark of 73-68. In 2009, Eckheart directed a young Gustavus squad to a mark of 11-17 overall and 3-8 in the MIAC, however in the previous five years, her squad’s had posted a mark of 95-40 overall (a .703 winning percentage) including second place MIAC finishes in 2006 and 2008 and a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008. Eckheart was honored as MIAC Coach of the Year in 2006. During her tenure at Gustavus, Eckheart had 14 players earn all-conference honors 20 times, two players named MIAC Defensive Player of the Year, and two players named All-Region.
Kari, who lives in Mankato with her husband, Chris, and their children Eric and Emily, will begin her new responsibilities immediately upon returning from a trip with the volleyball team to Costa Rica, which will take place June 1 through June 9.