Chuck Brueggemann Named as Director of Athletics

(LEBANON, Ill., July 2)—McKendree University officials announced Monday that Charles “Chuck” Brueggemann has been hired as the new director of athletics at the institution. Brueggemann will begin his full-time employment at the University on Aug. 6.

“We are extremely pleased to have Chuck Brueggemann join the McKendree family as our Director of Intercollegiate Athletics,” said Dr. James Dennis, President of McKendree University. “His credentials are impressive and I believe our athletics department, and the University as a whole, will benefit from his diverse background. Chuck has proven his abilities not only from a leadership standpoint, but in the areas of planning, marketing and fund-raising.”

Brueggemann comes to McKendree after spending the last two years as the senior vice president for business development at Jim’s Formal Wear, one of the nation’s largest and most respected wholesale distributors of men’s formal wear which is based in Trenton, Ill. In that role, Brueggemann’s responsibilities included sales, marketing and customer service. He was also involved in strategic planning and business intelligence for the company.

“McKendree has always had a special place in my heart,” said Brueggemann, who earned his bachelor’s degree from McKendree in 1988. “I love this institution and understand the role competition can play in a young person’s life. I look forward to working with such a distinguished and experienced group of coaches, learning from them and working together in an effort to further develop the McKendree brand, drawing even more fans and supporters of Bearcat athletics at our sporting events.”

In addition to his time at Jim’s, Brueggemann served as the varsity softball coach at nearby Wesclin High School. Along with his coaching duties, Brueggemann was able to raise funds for improvements at the Warriors’ home facility at Trenton City Park.

Prior to his experience at Jim’s Formal Wear, Brueggemann spent 25 years as an officer with the Illinois State Police. Brueggemann rose to the rank of first deputy director, serving as the second highest-ranking state police officer in the state prior to his retirement in 2010. He managed a workforce of nearly 3,500 officers and civilian personnel, and oversaw all aspects of a law enforcement agency that included the third-largest crime lab system in the world.

“The search committee looked at many resumes and interviewed some excellent candidates,” said Dr. Tami Eggleston, associate dean and professor of psychology at McKendree, who was the chair of the search committee for the director of athletics position. “Chuck Brueggemann was simply the best fit for McKendree University during these exciting times of growth. We are thrilled that he will be joining McKendree and bringing his management experience, vision and energy to the institution.”

During his undergraduate days at McKendree, Brueggemann served as the student sports information director for the institution, as well as the student athletic trainer and emergency medical technician. As the student SID, Brueggemann worked for current McKendree men’s basketball coach Harry Statham.

“Chuck Brueggemann will do an excellent job as our director of athletics,” said Statham, who was the McKendree athletics director from 1966-2010. “He is familiar with the University and our athletic program, has a passion for sports and is a tireless worker. He has proven leadership and management skills and relates extremely well to people.”

“Being an alum of McKendree University, Chuck has a love for the institution and a genuine desire to lend his skills to his alma mater,” added Dennis.

Brueggemann and his wife Susan reside in Trenton. The Brueggemanns have two daughters, Beth and Alicia.

“My role here (at McKendree) is to give the coaches and student-athletes the resources they need to be successful on the field and in the classroom,” said Brueggemann. “This is an exciting time for McKendree University, and I am thrilled to be a part of what is sure to be a successful transition into NCAA Division II and the Great Lakes Valley Conference. During my tenure the focus will always be on the student-athlete, the teams and the University.”

McKendree University is currently wrapping up Year Two Candidacy in its transition towards NCAA Division II membership. The Bearcat athletic program, which was accepted into membership of the Great Lakes Valley Conference in the fall of 2010, will begin play in the 16-member league this fall.