Inter-department staff shuffle


Avery Bliss

Greg Eckman

After 10 years at Johnson State College in various departments, Greg Eckman is the new assistant athletic director for student development.

Eckman started at JSC as the men’s assistant basketball coach under Mike Osborn. Five years later, Eckman became the women’s basketball head coach, a position he still occupies.

“Two years later I was hired in the financial aid office as a senior financial aid officer, and then that brings me here to today,” said Eckman. “So about 10 years, from part time in athletics, to full time three years ago at the campus, and now full time here in athletics.”

Originally from a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, Eckman attended Michigan Tech on a basketball scholarship for four years, graduating with a degree in business. Following his graduation in 2000, Eckman moved to Vermont and began work at IBM, later to arrive at JSC in 2006.

Before he was the assistant athletic director, Eckman worked in student financial services as one of the senior financial aid officers. “The role I held was helping student employment, so work study and non-work study,” said Eckman. “I also did a lot of billing analysis, so if students had questions on their statements, we would sit down with them and their families to help them understand everything that was offered from Johnson, and what they needed to do to become a Johnson student.”

But now that he is the assistant athletic director, part of his new job is expanding his role with the women’s basketball team. However, the bigger portion of the new job deals with student-athlete development.

“What that means is with all of the great resources we have on campus here: our academic support, our career and internship offices, our student employment . . . making sure any of our student-athletes are utilizing these services we have on campus, and that they don’t just come up to the facilities up here and go to class,” said Eckman.

Eckman is also assisting the other JSC coaching staff with their recruiting efforts, in conjunction with the admissions department.

“We are thrilled to have Greg join us full time in the athletics department,” said Jamey Ventura, director of athletics and recreation at JSC. “Greg’s outgoing personality and passion for athletics and the college make him a great fit for this position.”

The search for candidates to fill this position was nation wide, with the whole process taking about six weeks. Chosen as one of the three final candidates to come to campus, Eckman met with the search committee, which was comprised of some athletic staff members and faculty support staff, in addition to some time with Dave Bergh and President Collins.

“About a week later Jamey [Ventura] gave me a call to let me know I was selected for this position,” said Eckman. “And I was really excited about it, and they just let me know that he was really excited to be adding me on, for the development side. I have a lot of energy, and a lot of passion for Johnson State, and I’m really excited to kind of grow inside of our campus here as well.”

While Eckman being hired for this position does come in the wake of Elaine Harvey leaving Johnson, Ventura made it clear that Eckman wasn’t intended to fill Harvey’s shoes. “No, we have just posted Elaine’s position of Assistant Athletic Director for Communications and will be conducting that search over the next month,” said Ventura. 

The part of the job that Eckman is most looking forward to is the opportunity to be a part of another JSC department that is very passionate about the students. “They are the most important thing, and we want to give them every bit of effort and energy we have, every day, and to make sure their experience here is what they hope for and we can push them and make them drive and strive to be the best,” said Eckman.

“Greg will be responsible for working with our student athlete advisory committee to provide programming on key topics and collaboration with other departments on campus to enhance our student experience,” said Ventura. “He will also work with our coaching staff and serve as a liaison with our admissions department to help maximize the recruitment of academically and athletically talented student athletes.”