BANNER ELK, N.C. - Lees-McRae College has announced Craig
McPhail, former Assistant Athletic Director, has been named
Director of Athletics.
"The future is bright for Lees-McRae athletics," former Athletic
Director Ried Estus said. "Craig has been preparing himself
professionally for this opportunity from the day he became our
Assistant Athletic Director seven years ago. While I'm confident
our department has advanced over the last fifteen years, I can
leave here with a sense of accomplishment, and I am convinced Craig
has the skill set to take the department to the next level".
McPhail has been on the Lees-McRae athletic staff since 1998. He
has served the college in the positions of Sports Information
Director, men's and women's cross country Coach, track and field
coach and Assistant Athletic Director.
"I am excited about this new challenge in my career and thankful
for all of those who believed enough in me to give me this
opportunity," said McPhail. "Working with these coaches, faculty,
staff and community will be extremely gratifying as we work
together to continue to make Lees-McRae a very special place."
While Assistant Athletic Director, McPhail worked with community
service projects, managed the awards banquets, handled the
publicity and marketing of the athletic department and monitored
the student-athlete experience at Lees-McRae. He has served on
several committees within the college for retention, judicial
review, graduation and community service.
He has also represented the college as a member of CoSIDA , United
States Cross Country/Track Coaches Association, USA Track and
Field, Conference Carolinas Chair for both cross country and track
and field and recently finished his appointment as Chair of the
NCAA Division II Cross Country/Track and Field Committee.
His teams have had great success in and out of the classroom with
13 conference championships in men's and women's cross country and
track and field. He has coached 73 All-Conference student-athletes,
31 of those gaining All-Region honors, while watching them receive
Academic All-America honors for the past decade. McPhail's peers
have voted him Conference Coach of the Year 11 times, and he has
also garnered Regional Coach of the Year three times. He has also
guided 38 Lees-McRae student-athletes to NCAA Division II National
McPhail's time in the community is well served as he has helped
with the local Young Life organization, helped Special Olympics
with their torch run, as a member of the Banner Elk Christian
Fellowship Church, Lees-McRae Mountain Day athletic coordinator,
Wooly Worm Road Race Organizer, Turkey Trot Organizer, and as a
caddy at Diamond Creek Golf Club.
Head men's basketball coach Scott Polsgrove will become Assistant
Athletic Director for Internal Affairs with responsibilities of
compliance, and mentoring of coaches and Head men's soccer coach
Chris Whalley will become Assistant Athletic Director for External
Affairs with regards to community service and community