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Andy Noel is appointed Cornell's new athletics director

Andy Noel and Pat Gillespie
Blaine Friedlander/Cornell Chronicle
Andy Noel, left, Cornell's new director of athletics and physical education, chats with Pat Gillespie, director of sports information.

John Andrew "Andy" Noel Jr., Cornell University's associate director of athletics, has been named by the university to succeed Charles Moore as director of athletics and physical education.

The appointment was announced to the Cornell Department of Athletics and Physical Education staff today (Monday, Aug. 9) by Susan H. Murphy, Cornell vice president for student and academic services.

Noel was selected from a field of national candidates for his successful coaching career, fund-raising abilities, administrative experience and knowledge of the university, Cornell officials said. He is expected to take over his new position later this month.

"Andy is in an ideal position to lead Cornell's athletics into the next millennium," said Cornell President Hunter Rawlings, a classics scholar who was once a collegiate athlete himself. "I know he will aim to enhance Cornell's winning tradition in intercollegiate athletics and maintain the university's excellence in recreation, outdoor and physical education."

Praising Moore's leadership, Murphy said he has improved Cornell programs, facilities and teams and that the university will strive to build on the momentum he created during his tenure. Said Murphy: "Andy will build on the successful changes that Charlie Moore brought about during these past five years. If there's been any constant, it has been positive change. Andy also will be key as we move ahead with the recommendations of the Cornell Trustee Task Force on Athletics, including a fund-raising campaign for athletics."

The director of athletics oversees Cornell's intercollegiate teams, recreation programs, physical and outdoor education programs and all campus athletic facilities.

On learning of his appointment, Noel said: "I am humbled by this opportunity and grateful for my many colleagues and friends who have supported my efforts since my return to Cornell exactly three years ago today. Charlie Moore's tenure of leadership has set the bar at an all-time high, and our goal must be to maintain the momentum he has established as we move our programs to new levels of excellence."

Noel, who was head wrestling coach at Cornell from 1974 to 1988, returned to Cornell as an associate athletics director in 1996. Prior to his return, Noel had been a partner and co-owner of Advantage Sport and Fitness Inc. in Ithaca since 1993, responsible for the direction of commercial sales. Before joining Advantage, Noel was product marketing manager for Deanco Inc. of Ithaca.

He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa., in 1972 with a B.A. in history. At Cornell, his wrestling teams won four Ivy League championships and placed second four times. Under Noel's direction, the wrestling team established a strong network of support from alumni and friends. In 1990, he was recognized at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association Championships for his distinguished coaching career at Cornell, and in 1992 he was inducted into the New York State Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

For two years, beginning in 1988, Noel was an assistant director in the Cornell athletics department public affairs office, assisting with the implementation of the athletics annual giving program.

The national search for a new director of athletics had been under way since January, Cornell officials said. The search committee was composed of faculty, students, staff, alumni and university trustee Robert D. Kennedy, chair of the athletics task force. Assisting in the effort was alumnus Tony Cashen (Cornell Class of 1957) of LAI Worldwide, a search firm in New York City.

In addition to his coaching and administrative career, Noel has served on the wrestling committee of the National Collegiate Athletic Association since 1997. In that same year, he also became a member of the board of directors of the Special Children's Center in Ithaca.

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