Athletic Director David Wright Announces Departure
By Claire Healey, Co-Sports Editor
Athletic director and beloved Gettysburg College community member David Wright will be leaving Gettysburg to pursue a role as headmaster of Subiaco Academy in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas come June 2018.
Wright has worked for the college for 32 years in a variety of roles, beginning as the men’s soccer head coach and now finishing as the assistant vice president of the college and athletic director.
After graduating from the State University of New York at Cortland, Wright was the men’s soccer head coach at Al Meira College in upstate New York. However, when the job to become the Gettysburg coach opened up, he jumped at the opportunity to move to a new place.
“I interviewed in December of 1985 and started the job in January,” said Wright. “Gettysburg had an outstanding reputation for being a strong academic institution, which was something I was very interested in.”
After spending some time in Gettysburg, he and his wife Cindy realized they had found the place they wanted to raise their family.
“The broader Gettysburg community has a lot of amenities that are attractive to young families. My kids all went to elementary school in walking distance of home. They could come home from school and come see soccer practice finishing up,” Wright said.
The Wright family is very much embedded in the local and college communities. Cindy Wright is the director of campus recreation for Gettysburg College, and all three of the Wrights’ daughters attended Gettysburg College as students.
However, as their years here grew in number, so did David Wright’s role within the campus community. After receiving his doctorate from George Washington University, Wright became passionate about developing student leadership on campus.
He played an important role in the development of the Leadership Certificate program associated with the Gettysburg Leadership Center as well as diversity and inclusion on the campus.
Wright journeyed from head soccer coach, to assistant athletics director and then director of athletics, and he now serves as the assistant vice president for athletics and development. One of his favorite aspects of serving in these many roles has been watching former students and athletes develop and then find success after graduating from Gettysburg.
“I am going to miss the people at Gettysburg the most,” said Wright. “I’ve been so inspired by the students who came here and then went on to lead such successful lives. I have loved influencing young people to go out and do well, and this new opportunity will allow me to do that for a younger age.”
Wright hopes to challenge himself more career-wise with a move to a more prominent role within an academic institution. The Subiaco Academy will allow Wright to be responsible for the development and growth of students while following in the Benedictine mission.
Wright will also be responsible for the management of the academy’s extensive property, fiscal and human resources, strategic direction development for the institution, along with the Board of Trustees, where he will be the chief executive officer.
The location and transition of the new position felt right for the assistant vice president, as he and his wife had a serendipitous moment back in December.
The two of them are currently on a mission to run a half marathon in all 50 states. Neither had ever been to Arkansas, until they decided to run a half marathon there back in December, around the time he made it through the first two rounds of interviewing for this new role.
“We ended up going to Arkansas twice in eight days. We ran the half marathon on Saturday and then I got the call Monday that they wanted us to come out and interview, and then we went back that next weekend. You start to wonder if it’s meant to be,” Wright said.
Shortly thereafter, Wright was offered the job and chose to accept. Gettysburg College notified staff and students through e-mail. Since the announcement, Wright has received praise and well wishes from much of the college community.
“This is a great opportunity, but Gettysburg College has been unbelievable for the past 32 years,” he said. “It is definitely bittersweet.”