Carl Christian is the new Interim Director of Athletics. Photo Courtesy: Harris Rappel
By Shanae Harte
Carl Christain has stepped into a new role as the Interim Director of Athletics and Recreation at York. He was previously the Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance/Internal Operations.
Christian assumed the position as Denee Barracato, the previous director, left before the beginning of the Fall 2019 semester to become the Deputy Director of Athletics for Operations and Capital Projects at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Barracato joined York in the Fall of 2016 and one of her greatest accomplishment was being able to revamp the athletics program. During her time, Barracato ensured that academics of student athletes surged and that they played excellently whenever representing the college. She was also known for working along with Student Government to ensure that all students had an amazing experience at York.
Christian worked alongside Barracato and he is motivated to work as efficiently as she did.
Being a CUNY graduate, Christian joined York with the motivation to do as much as he could for the Athletics department which he felt was his way of giving back.
“When I first came in, the main focus was being a hands-on person in regards to the administrative side – making sure the day to day facilities and operations run smoothly,” Christian said.
When Christian assumed the position of interim Director of Athletic, one of the first things he wanted to do was to take a look at some of the areas where improvement was needed and fix them immediately. Christian stressed that he is working on helping student athletes win more games and have a better student athlete experience.
“We need to improve athletic competitiveness, not just wins and losses, but being able to field more teams consistently and having student athletes who are committed to practicing day in and out,” he said.
Although his job requires focusing heavily on student athletes, Christian wants to make sure that he also caters to students, faculty and alumni. To do this, he is aiming to improve the school’s recreational facilities like the fitness center, the pool and the gym.
“There’s something for everybody, so if someone wants to come work out in the gym, that’s fine,” Christian said.“If they want to distress with a dodgeball tournament before finals, they can.”
Christian has only been the interim director for a few months and has already broken ground on fixing the facilities in the Health and Physical Education Complex (HPEC). In this short time, he has already put in new scoreboards, renovated the gym floor, put in a batting cage, repaired the throwing cage on the back field and has established a maintenance contract for the fitting center.
Ensuring that the HPEC is always suitable for use is also one thing that Christian takes pride in. York’s Performing Arts Center (PAC) is currently closed for renovations, so big events like the convocation has to be held in the HPEC.
“We only have one building and there’s a lot of demands on the space and now with the PAC situation, we have a lot being pushed our way,” he said. “It is making it a little difficult to do things that we would under normal circumstances.”
It is unclear when the PAC will reopen so ensuring that the HPEC is always ready for school events, is now another job Christian can add to his list.
One thing Christian is looking forward to working on is a track and field project that Barracato had started working on.
“We don’t have a lot of facilities for outdoor sports and it is hardly a good usable surface. There is remedial work that needs to be done so we could utilize it more,” he said.
Because the field is not in its best state, the college is forced to commute its soccer and softball teams to other teams for home games. Christian is hoping to have this project completed while he is the interim Director of Athletics and Recreation.
Some of the initiatives Christian plans on implementing at York include maintaining student athlete participation, getting more students involved in sports as well as improving student athletes academic success. He ais also focused on making sure that more good student athletes stay and graduate from York with exceptional GPAs. Christian also wants to work on improving student athlete ethics and ensuring that this Fall season sees more wins than losses for the teams at York.
Finally, Christian will be focusing on developing the school’s facilities to a level that an NCA collegiate department should be.
As the director, Christian recognizes that females are sometimes negatively stereotyped when sports are involved. Christian does not want York’s female student athletes to be discriminated against because of their gender. His solution to erase this stereotype against female athletes at York is awareness.
“Perceptions have shifted but it’s an ongoing process,” said Christian.
He also mentioned that the college is expected to submit reports to the NCA to ensure that females are as included in sports as males.
“If the student population is greater female than male, then you have to have the resources to suit them,” he added.
In addition to all of this, Christian is extending an invitation to all students, faculty and staff to make use of the resources and services that the HPEC provides. He wants building to be a relaxing environment for all and he wants to ensure that all members of the college community are aware that these resources are provided for their use.
“We’re here!,” Christian says to all students, faculty and staff. “There’s a lot of resources on campus and I want you to take advantage of it.”