A 20 year veteran of college and university athletics has been named as the new athletic director at Gadsden State Community College. GSCC President Dr. Renée Culverhouse said that Michael Cancilla of Pelham has been selected as the successor to Riley Whitaker, who is retiring after 40 years at Gadsden State. Dr. Culverhouse commented, ?We are pleased to have a person of Mr. Cancilla's caliber as our athletic director. He fully understands and will emphasize the concept of the student-athlete. We look forward to working with him to continue the great traditions established by Dr. Whitaker.?
A native of Pittsburgh, Cancilla graduated with a Masters degree in Physical Education Athletics Administration at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. He began his career at Yale University as assistant director of athletics where he managed the operations of 35 varsity sports, including national soccer and indoor/outdoor track and field championships. Cancilla also served as assistant director and associate director of athletics at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York and was coach of the men?s golf team. He took over as athletic director at Woodlands High School in Hartsdale, New York for two years before accepting the job as director of athletics at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, Alabama. In addition to being responsible for a ten sports program there, Cancilla was a member ofa design committee that built an 86,000 square foot, $11.5 million athletic and recreation center with a 3000 seat arena.
After spending two years in the business world, Cancilla wanted to get back into athletics. ?I feel like my battery is charged and I look forward to a bright future at Gadsden State,? he added. Cancilla pointed out that he stresses the importance of academics and he will work to get the athletes to excel in the classroom as well as in competitive sports.
Cancilla said that it is an honor to replace Riley Whitaker and he plans to continue working on positive things in hopes to build his own legacy. He admitted there will be a lot of pressure in succeeding Whitaker who played a major role in making the Gadsden State Athletics Department what it is today. Whitaker said that he had heard many good things about Cancilla?s ability and knowledge and commented, ?I look forward to working with him to insure a smooth transition.?
A top priority for Cancilla will be recruiting outstanding candidates for the vacant positions of head coach of both the men?s and women?s basketball teams. Application information is available online at the GSCC website www.gadsdenstate.edu.