MOUNT VERNON — Director of Athletics John Cochrane and Associate Director of Athletics Dick Simmons have abruptly stepped down from their positions at Cornell College, the school has announced.
Cochrane was beginning his ninth year at Cornell. Prior to taking over as AD, he was the first full-time commisioner of the Iowa Conference.
Simmons was beginning his 26th year on The Hilltop. The school’s director of compliance, he has served as chair of the NCAA Division III Wrestling Committee and tournament director of the D-III national championships, which have been held at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids.
The timing of the “resignations,” as the school is calling them, is odd, considering the athletics year has just begun. Cornell issued a statement Friday on the matter, citing employee confidentiality.
“Two of our administrative athletics staff members, Dick Simmons and John Cochrane, recently resigned to pursue their own interests,” it said. “Cornell College is bringing on an interim athletic director to lead the department. A national search for a permanent athletic director is already underway. Cornell College hopes to have an update to share very soon. Cornell is looking forward to a successful year in the sports arena and in the classroom.”
An emotional Simmons chose not to publicly answer why he and Cochrane decided to resign.
“I had 25 great years at Cornell,” he said. “I worked with unbelievable student-athletes and coaches. Now I’m excited for a new chapter and adventures.”
Cochrane could not immediately be reached for comment.
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