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March 6, 2014

Sue Petersen Lubow to Step Down as Merchant Marine Athletic Director

Kings Point, NY – After 25 years of service as the Athletic Director at the United States Merchant Marine Academy Sue Petersen Lubow will be stepping down from her current position, effective March 23.  Petersen Lubow has been at the Academy for 35 years, beginning her career as the head coach of both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs in 1979.  She will remain at Kings Point as a tenured full professor in the Physical Education department.  Captain Bill Fell will serve as the Interim Athletic Director as a worldwide search is launched for Petersen Lubow’s successor. 

 “I’ve been athletic director for 25 years and I feel that it’s time to step down and allow someone else to take over the program, hopefully a program that I have set on the right course,” said Petersen Lubow.  “I feel this is the proper time, both personally and professionally, to turn the reigns over to someone else.” 

Petersen Lubow’s appointment as Athletic Director marked the first time that a female held that position at any of the United States federal service academies.  She has served on a number of committees in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC), a regional conference comprised of 320 Division I, II, and III institutions. Petersen Lubow was appointed as an Executive Board member, the Chair of the Marketing Committee, the Chair of the Swimming and Diving Committee, the Chair of the Finance Committee, and the Chairperson of the ECAC Division III Football Committee, a position also never before held by a woman. In the fall of 1998, Petersen Lubow was honored by the ECAC as the 1998 Jostens Female Administrator of the Year.  She is also the most recent recipient of the ECAC’s Katherine Ley Award for outstanding leadership, creation of programs and opportunities, and for being a great role model for women coaches and administrators.

“To follow an icon like Sue is humbling,” said Fell.  “I hope I can continue to build on her accomplishments as the USMMA Interim Athletic Director and successfully lead the department as Sue has for the past 25 years.”

Petersen Lubow, an honorary alumna of the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation, graduated from Springfield College in 1975.  She went on to earn her Master's Degree in Health Education from Hofstra University in 1979.  Prior to coaching, Petersen Lubow was a national competitor in AAU age group swimming.  She was also an All-American in the 200 individual medley as well as the medley relay (1971-72) at Springfield College, where she also served as the team captain. Petersen Lubow was inducted into Springfield College's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991 and the New York Metropolitan Swimming Hall of Fame in 2009.

Petersen Lubow was the first female to be the head coach of a varsity men's team at any service academy when she was appointed to her position at Kings Point in 1979.  During her time at the helm of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, the two programs combined for a 148-67 record over 11 years. Petersen Lubow coached 48 All-America male and female swimmers and divers, including both a men's and women's NCAA Division III individual National Champion.

“Sue is the one most responsible for the transformation of the Physical Education and Athletic Department over the years,” said Associate Athletic Director and men’s soccer coach Michael Smolens.  “She has always worked tirelessly to help every aspect in our department improve, while still keeping the division III philosophy and the goals of USMMA in the forefront.   As teachers, coaches and Midshipmen, we have been fortunate to have Sue as our strong leader for so many years. She has certainly made a difference and helped make life better at Kings Point for thousands of people.”

Throughout her career, Petersen Lubow has been very involved with both USA Swimming and NCAA Swimming and Diving. She served as the Secretary and Rules Editor for the NCAA Division I, II and III Swimming and Diving Committee. Petersen Lubow also acted as the Head Manager for the 1998 World Swimming Championships, travelling with the USA National Team to Perth, Australia in January, 1998. In October, 2004, she was tabbed as the head manager for the USA Short Course World Swim Team that hosted the World Championships for the first time in history.  Petersen Lubow devoted the summers of 1993-95 to the USA National Swim program, serving as Head and Assistant Manager.

“I’m looking forward to going back to teaching,” said Petersen Lubow.  “Those are my roots and that’s where I started.  I have a 12-year old daughter who is very involved in school, sports, and music, which also requires a great deal of my time.  Time that I am excited to spend with her.”