SPARTANBURG, S.C. - As she completes her twelfth year of driving growth and success for the Valkyries athletic program at Converse College, Athletic Director Joy Couch will take the helm as Athletic Director for Spartanburg Day School beginning July 1.
"It is a bittersweet moment as I reflect on all we have accomplished at Converse College," said Couch. "I truly love this place and the wonderful students, coaches and colleagues who have become my family here. This is the right moment and the right opportunity for me to begin a new adventure, and I'm excited by what lies ahead with Spartanburg Day School."
Under Couch's leadership, Converse built a highly competitive intercollegiate athletic program as the only women's college competing at the NCAA Division II level, including gaining full Division II membership, admission into Conference Carolinas, growing from 5 to 13 sports programs, and increasing the number of student athletes from 37 to 240. The rapid growth led to construction of the $3 million Marsha H. Gibbs Field House in 2014, which Couch credits as being instrumental in positioning Converse to build a winning program.
Last year alone, Converse Athletics was recognized by the NCAA for contributing the sixth highest number of community service hours in the nation, received the Allen Sharp Award for the highest academic success rate in Conference Carolinas, and Valkyries swimming earned Scholar All-American for the eleventh consecutive year. In its inaugural season this spring, the all-freshman Acro and Tumbling team qualified for the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association's National Championship as the No. 8 seed.
"Joy Couch is a dynamic leader who has built the Converse Valkyries athletic program to levels of unprecedented growth and success," said Converse President Krista Newkirk. "We are deeply grateful for her personal and professional investment in our student-athletes, in our coaches, and in relationships across Conference Carolinas and NCAA Division II. Converse begins our search for a new Athletic Director with upmost commitment to continuing the momentum for Valkyries Athletics, and we look forward to the great future that lies ahead."