NORFOLK, Neb. – Kurt Kohler, dean of student life and athletics at Northeast Community College, has announced his resignation to accept the position of executive director of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference (MCAC).
The MCAC is the organizational body for 24 National Junior College Athletic Association-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, as well as select member colleges in North Dakota and Wisconsin.
Kohler served as the dean of student life and athletics at Northeast since 2017 where he was responsible for leading numerous departments including residence life, counseling services, student conduct, student activities, student health, dining services, and athletics. As the chief athletic administrator, he directed a department of seven coaches, and 160 student-athletes in eight sports that competed at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I and Division II levels in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC).
“I am excited to be the next executive director of the MCAC and to get started with that new adventure,” Kohler said. “However, I will miss the wonderful people I have had a chance to work with at Northeast throughout the last three years.”
Associate Athletic Director Jerrett Mills will serve as the interim athletic director for the remainder of the semester.
Northeast Athletics experienced incredible success with Kohler at the helm, earning multiple regional and district championships and making national tournament appearances in volleyball, baseball, and golf. Over 500 student-athletes earned regional and national academic awards during his short tenure, with nearly 90 student-athletes earning NJCAA All-American or All-Region XI status.
Prior to Northeast Community College, Kohler served as the head volleyball coach at Fort Hays State University in Kansas for nine seasons. He has previous athletic administrative experience there as well. Before coaching at Fort Hays State, he was at Barton Community College in Kansas where he initially coached volleyball for one season in 2005 and was voted the Jayhawk West Division Coach of the Year that season. He then served as Barton’s athletic director for three years.
In 2004, Kohler was at Missouri Western State University, where he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator, and previously served as an assistant and head coach at Allen County Community College in Kansas. He served as the assistant athletic director at Allen while coaching volleyball, eventually becoming the interim athletic director. He was voted Jayhawk East Division Coach of the Year in 2002 while at Allen.
Amanda Nipp, vice president of Student Services, said Kohler has been an invaluable member of the Student Services team during his tenure at Northeast.
“Kurt has been dedicated in his work overseeing the many facets of both athletics and student life on campus. His years of athletic experience, including coaching duties, have served the College well,” she said. “That experience at the university and community college level has also allowed him to build a wonderful rapport with the coaches, student-athletes, and faculty and staff of Northeast. We are going to miss Kurt, but we wish him nothing but the best in his new endeavors in Minnesota.”
Kohler is a native of Colorado Springs, Colo. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Colorado State University. He also earned a Teaching Certificate for Physical Education and General Sciences. He obtained his Master of Science degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Emporia State University.
“I want to thank the Northeast coaching staff and the Student Life staff for all they have done to bring success to Northeast and make my time here enjoyable. I am grateful to Amanda Nipp for giving me the opportunity to serve the students of Northeast and to Jerrett Mills for the many hours he has put in to making sure the athletic events are first class and our student-athletes get the media attention they deserve. Jerrett will do a great job in the interim athletic director role.”
Kohler gives credit to Northeast student-athletes for the success of the College’s athletic programs have experienced over the last few years.
“They work hard on the court and in the classroom and have proven to be high-character individuals who will be very successful in life,” he said. “I am so proud of them and honored to have been able to work with them throughout my past three years. I will miss Northeast.”
PHOTO IDs: Kurt Kohler (left), and Jerrett Mills.