Marcoux Set to Become Princeton’s First Female Athletic Director

Mollie Marcoux will become the first female athletic director at Princeton University when Gary Walters steps down after 20 years in the role.

A Princeton graduate in the class of 1991 and member of the school’s soccer and hockey teams, Marcoux spent the past 19 years with Chelsea Piers LP. Starting Aug. 4, she will oversee an office that spent about $22 million on athletics in the year through June, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

“She’ll be such a role model to young people, as a young woman and a great Princeton athlete,” Chelsea Piers founder and Chairman Roland Betts said yesterday in a telephone interview. “She’s a dogged worker, she’s intelligent. There’s just no way that she won’t be successful.”

Marcoux served most recently as executive vice president and executive director of the 400,000-square-foot Chelsea Piers complex in Stamford, Connecticut. She was also the founder and executive director of the Chelsea Piers Scholarship Fund, which has provided more than 2,000 athletic scholarships for disadvantaged children.

Prior to working with Chelsea Piers, Marcoux was assistant athletic director, assistant dean of admissions, assistant housemaster and coached girls’ hockey and soccer at the Lawrenceville School, six miles from Princeton’s New Jersey campus.

Seeking Perfection

Betts, former lead owner of Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers, said Marcoux arrived at Chelsea Piers in 1995 after his sister passed along a recommendation about “an extraordinary young girl working at Lawrenceville who wants to do more.” He said in her 19 years at the company she built a reputation as a perfectionist.

“When we’re very satisfied with something, she’s always trying to make it better,” Betts said. “Sometimes we have to say, ’Mollie, give it a rest, it’s great.’ But that’s her nature.”

Walters led the school’s 38 varsity teams and served a five-year term on the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I men’s basketball committee.

He oversaw the renovation of a number of the school’s athletic facilities, including the construction of Princeton Stadium for football, Weaver Track & Field Stadium, the Roberts Stadium soccer complex and new squash courts.

Walters’ Legacy

Heading into his final year in the position, Walters had overseen 214 Ivy League championships -- 82 more than the next-closest team over that time -- and 30 national championships.

“Princeton has a proud and distinguished history of excellence in athletics and a deep respect for the powerful impact that athletics can have on the education and character of the students who participate,” Princeton President Christopher Eisgruber said in a release. “I am confident that Mollie Marcoux will build on these traditions and values and provide strong leadership for all of our varsity, club and recreational programs.”

Princeton was the highest Ivy League finisher in the Directors’ Cup standings, which measure an athletic department’s overall success, in 18 of the previous 20 years. The program is currently ranked No. 47, trailing conference rivals Harvard (No. 43) and Dartmouth (No. 44).

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