University News

Western New England University Announces Jenn Kolins as New Director of Athletics and Recreation

Published: January 24, 2024 | Categories: All News
Jenn Kolins WNE Director of Athletics and Recreation

Western New England University (WNE) is excited to announce the appointment of Jenn Kolins as the new director of athletics and recreation, effective January 1, 2024.

"With a distinguished career spanning over two decades, Jenn brings a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to student-athlete development," says Vice President and Chief Experience Officer Kristine Goodwin. "Students, faculty, and staff have all expressed appreciation for her service and excitement about her appointment."

Kolins' journey began at the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis Center in Philadelphia, where she not only honed her tennis skills but was also mentored by the legendary Arthur Ashe.

A graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts, Kolins excelled not only as a musician but also as a multi-sport athlete, participating in tennis and volleyball. Her achievements include winning the city tennis championship, earning recognition as an all-city tennis and volleyball player, and holding regional rankings in the United States Tennis Association.

After graduating from the University of Hartford, where she played Division I tennis, Kolins embarked on a successful coaching career, spending 21 years coaching the men's and women's tennis teams at Western New England University. Under her guidance, the teams secured four Conference Championships in the GNAC, with multiple playoff appearances in the CCC, including a Championship appearance by the men's team during her last full season as the head coach. Kolins also holds a Master of Arts degree in Coaching and Athletics Administration from Concordia University Irvine.

Beyond her coaching, Kolins has demonstrated outstanding leadership in various administrative roles at WNE, including assistant athletics director for student-athlete development, associate athletic director for student-athlete development, co-interim director of athletics and recreation, and acting director of athletics and recreation. She has overseen the Life Skills Mentoring program, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and the Captain's Council, and has coordinated Girls and Women in Sports Day for two decades.

Kolins has been instrumental in fostering diversity and inclusion initiatives, serving on the Diversity Task Force for almost 16 years, contributing to the JEDI Committee, and co-founding the Civility Leadership Team. She established the Black Student-Athlete Alliance and has been an active participant in the NCAA Leadership Academy, earning multiple certificates, including the NCAA/NFL Sponsored Athlete Development Certificate from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Her commitment to community service is exemplified by initiatives such as creating a community garden and mural in Philadelphia, coaching the Watkinson High School boy's tennis team for three years, and helping to develop the inner-city tennis program, Moving on Up for Tennis and Education, in Springfield, which has positively impacted hundreds of kids over the years.

Among her many accolades, Kolins has received the NCAA Step-Up Program Certification, NCAA CHAMPS Life Skills Program Certificate, and multiple Conference Tennis Coach of the Year awards. Notably, she was honored with the WNE Golden Bear Award in 2009 and the WNE Staff Excellence Award in 2023. Kolins has been a resident of Springfield for over 20 years.

"Jenn has devoted years to enhancing the student-athlete experience here at WNE. Her exceptional achievements in coaching and administration are a testament to her outstanding leadership qualities," said University President Dr. Robert E. Johnson. "Her dedication to diversity, inclusion, and community service reflects the spirit of excellence we foster at WNE. My heartfelt congratulations to her on this well-deserved appointment. We look forward to a strong future under her leadership."