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Lindsay Peirce has returned to Hillsdale as Director of Recre­ational Sports and Student-Athlete Wellness. Vic­toria Mar­shall | Col­legian

Hillsdale alumna Lindsay Peirce ’16 has returned to the college to take on the newly created role of Director of Recre­ational Sports and Student-Athlete Wellness.

As a student, Peirce played tennis from 2012 – 2015. She holds the record for most singles won in a career with 42, cementing her status as one of the most suc­cessful ath­letes in recent history for Chargers’ tennis.

After grad­u­ating from Hillsdale, Peirce com­pleted a three-year master’s program at the Chicago School of Pro­fes­sional Psy­chology, earning her Master’s Degree in Coun­seling Psy­chology in July.

Hillsdale admin­is­tration ini­tially wanted to hire Peirce to replace Brad Kocher as Director of Recre­ational Sports, but the role evolved as soon as staff con­sidered her cre­den­tials and saw an increased need for mental health ser­vices on campus. 

“When she was first looked at as a can­didate, several depart­ments saw it as an oppor­tunity for her to be in the ath­letic department and fulfill some of the needs that are there with Brad Kocher leaving and what not,” said Director of Health and Wellness Brock Lutz. “But it was also an oppor­tunity to expand the scope of that position beyond recre­ational sports and to have a person who could focus on athlete wellness and mental health wellness.” 

As Director of Recre­ational Sports, Peirce will supervise and direct the college’s recre­ational sports and intra­mural leagues. She will also oversee the campus’s club sports. 

In her role as Director of Student-Athlete Wellness, Peirce will offer coun­seling ser­vices in the Health and Wellness Center, as well as be a resource for student ath­letes in the ath­letic department. She plans to begin  mental health ini­tia­tives with student ath­letes, as well as provide mental health infor­mation to coaches and staff.

As a former Charger, Peirce said she would have ben­e­fited from her role if it had existed when she was an athlete.

“I sought out ser­vices from the health center while I was here,” Peirce said. “But having someone like me sitting in this office or one of these offices — I def­i­nitely would’ve uti­lized that as just another extra pos­itive support and place to go. And while it’s obvi­ously super important to grow the rela­tion­ships between the ath­letes and coaches, it’s some­times also important and nec­essary to have somebody outside of the team to go to about teammate struggles and issues with coaches. So, just having somebody kind of one-step removed from that can be really helpful.” 

Peirce’s office is located in the sports complex where she will be available to stu­dents who seek her ser­vices.  

“There’s no limit as to how this position can benefit our stu­dents,” Assistant Ath­letic Director for Media Rela­tions and Event Man­agement Brad Monas­tiere said in an email. “The issue of mental health and wellness looms large in greater society as well as within our small campus, and the respon­sible thing for our department to do is to have qual­ified, caring people in place to let our stu­dents know there’s a place they can go to seek that crucial support they need.”

According to Lutz, Peirce will easily relate to student ath­letes given her history of playing for the tennis team. 

“Nikki Wal­bright, the head women’s tennis coach, was able to look at her and say this girl was a team captain, she’s a leader — people respect her. You want that in a person too because I think to work with ath­letes they’ve got to be able to respect you and know that you’ve been in their world some,” Lutz said. “So to me, I think that’s what stuck out. And you meet her, and she’s someone who’s per­sonable and con­nects with people which the impor­tance of that can’t be under­es­ti­mated.” 

Peirce plans to build and maintain rela­tion­ships with stu­dents and ath­letes in her first year as 

Director of Recre­ational Sports and Student-Athlete Wellness. 

“I think my back­ground of being a student athlete here will give a lot to cre­ating those con­nec­tions with the stu­dents and student ath­letes,” Peirce said. “Just sup­porting and reminding them that we are here to help, and encour­aging and reminding them that it is ok and a strength to ask for help and to seek out support.” 

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    nepotism. If a position is a new position, I would rec­ommend that we hire someone who has extensive expe­rience in the area and can help define and map out the role for the future. Hiring someone directly out of grad school, with no work expe­rience, for a new role like this, doesn’t look good. If the person fit the bill, and hap­pened to be a Hillsdale alum, well then great, but this type of hire has taken place a lot lately and the effect is not pos­itive.