Sarah Works has resigned as the athletic director at The Evergreen State College, just eight months after accepting the job.
She said she resigned to resume her legal practice and teaching.
“I realized that, at this point, my interests remain more firmly rooted in academics and law,” Works said.
From the start, Works was pulled in different directions.
When Works interviewed for the AD position in March, she also was a candidate for a faculty position at Evergreen. At the time of the interview, she told Art Costantino, vice president of student affairs, that she wanted to pursue something she had “valued her entire life.”
Works was an athlete in college. She grew up on the Colville Indian Reservation and played basketball at the University of Idaho, graduating in 1992. She went to law school at the University of Arizona and worked with the Women’s Sports Foundation on issues of equality.
She also worked as an attorney on tribal issues and was an attorney general for two tribes.
“What we thought Sarah brought to he job was first of all strong management and budget experience,” Costantino said when Works was hired.
Wendy Endress, vice president of student affairs, will be the interim athletic director. Endress is the school’s third athletic director in eight months, and the eighth overall.
Dave Weber left the position March 15, ending a 10-year run that was the school’s most successful period in athletics.
Weber resigned because of a difference of opinion about the direction of the athletics program. Costantino wanted more emphasis on recreational sports and saw that as an underused source of revenue.
“We want to enhance some areas where we haven’t been doing as much in terms of outdoor trips, recreation and intramurals,” Costantino said. “That’s the way sports really becomes real for more than just intercollegiate athletes. Sarah had good ideas how to do that.”
In her brief stay, Works hired new coaches for volleyball, women’s soccer and men’s basketball.
At the first Cascade Conference meeting Works attended, she demanded that starting times for men’s and women’s basketball doubleheaders alternate. Women’s games have always started at 5:30 p.m., with men’s games following at about 7:30 p.m.
“Everyone has some type of expectations, something they’d like to see happen,” said Monica Heuer, Evergreen women’s basketball coach. “For her first budget item, that might not have been the best thing. But at the same time, that’s something she wanted to accomplish.”
Heuer became the assistant athletic director under Works and is a candidate to replace Works.
“I think Sarah found it better to pursue what she was more accustomed to,” Heuer said. “She did some good things. She brought some good people onto staff.”
Costantino said he wasn’t upset by Works’ short stay, and saw a positive side to her tenure.
“We understand and support Sarah’s dedication to academics and Indian law,” Costantino said. “Our campus recreation and intercollegiate programs have successfully addressed a number of key issues during her time as director.”
Gail Wood: 360-754-5443 firstname.lastname@example.org