Dr. Al Molde, the athletics director at Gustavus Adolphus College for the past 15 years, has announced that he will retire at the end of the current academic year. Dr. Molde, a 1966 graduate of Gustavus and a Montevideo, Minn. native, replaced Jim “Moose” Malmquist when Malmquist retired in 1997. He is one of only seven full-time athletics directors that have been employed by the College since the position was created in 1920.
The Gustavus Athletics Department has achieved unprecedented success during Dr. Molde’s 15-year career including 14 Top 25 finishes in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Directors’ Cup standings (highlighted by a sixth place finish in 2002-03), six Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) All-Sport Titles (five by the women and one by the men), 21 NCAA Postgraduate Scholars, 66 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans, and 130 NCAA National Tournament team invitations including 17 NCAA Final Four appearances and one NCAA National Championship claimed by the men’s golf team (2004).
“While the accomplishments of the Gustavus men’s and women’s athletic teams in the competitive arena and in the classroom during Dr. Molde’s tenure are remarkable, it is the work he has done mentoring the coaching staff and personally caring for thousands of student athletes that is simply amazing,” stated Gustavus President Jack Ohle.
“Al Molde is an individual who has dedicated his entire 40-year professional career to providing thoughtful direction and quality care to student athletes and a testament to his success is the fact that he has been elected to six Halls of Fame by the institutions he has served,” President Ohle added.
In addition to Dr. Molde’s commitment to student athlete service programs such as the Student Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB), Student Athletes in Volunteer Endeavors (SAVE) and being a leader in innovative programs for health, wellness, and leadership opportunities, he also was instrumental in several building projects. The first was a complete overhaul of the Lund Center for Health, Exercise Science, and Athletics after the 1998 tornado and the last was coordinating the building of a state-of-the-art football stadium in 2007.
“It has been a blessing and a privilege to have worked with such a talented, passionate and dedicated administrative team and coaching staff during my 15 years at Gustavus. I have never been around a more caring and friendly group of people than those that work at this special place,” stated Dr. Molde.
“On top of that, I have been kept young by the bright and talented student athletes that have graced the athletic teams during my time here. They never cease to amaze me with their ability to pursue a challenging liberal arts education, while at the same time performing and representing Gustavus with pride and class,” added Molde.
Another highlight for Molde at Gustavus was watching his youngest son Evan become a Gustie and compete for four years on the men’s soccer and baseball teams. In his senior season, Evan was a starting forward on the soccer team that won the MIAC Championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA National Tournament compiling a record of 17-2-1 overall and 9-1-0 in league play.
An avid hunter and fisherman, Molde is looking forward to having some extra time on the lake and in the fields near his cabin in Battle Lake, Minn., while also spending more time with his wife, Ingrid and their eight grandchildren.
An announcement concerning the College’s plan to move forward in finding Dr. Molde’s replacement will be made in the very near future.