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YHC’s Jennifer Rushton named Director of Athletics for Albion College

Young Harris, GA (03/13/2024) — Young Harris College Director of Athletics Jennifer Rushton will be leaving the college to take the reins of the Athletics program at Albion College, a private liberal arts college in Albion, MI.

Rushton, who came to Young Harris College in 2018, will assume her new role June 1.

“This is a bittersweet situation for YHC,” said Dr. Drew Van Horn, president of Young Harris College. “While I am happy that Jennifer will be closer to her family, we will miss her strong leadership. I wish Jennifer great success in this next segment of her life.”

Rushton oversees an Athletics program at Young Harris College of 35 employees and 360 student-athletes, where she developed a five-year strategic plan for athletics, and managed an operating budget of nearly $3 million and a scholarship budget of $2.3 million.

Young Harris Athletics has enjoyed success with Rushton at the helm, from regular conference tournament appearances to conference titles, NCAA qualifiers, coach and athletic training staff of the year awards, and even a College World Series appearance for softball. During her tenure, she reinstated cross country, added women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s track and field programs. She led the transition from the Peach Belt Conference to the Conference Carolinas.

“It was clear through this process that Jennifer brings the experience and competitive desire to be successful not only in terms of wins and losses but also in terms of making sure we are succeeding in supporting and mentoring our student-athletes for life after Albion,” said Wayne Webster, president of Albion College. “I have no doubt she brings all the skill sets necessary to strengthen our legacy of athletic success and support campus-wide initiatives around academic excellence and student success. Her passion to win and her care for her coaches and students, and how she thinks strategically on ways to best support their success shined through in her reference calls and in conversations she had with campus partners.”

Prior to her time at Young Harris, Rushton spent six years as senior associate athletic director for compliance and student-athlete services and senior woman administrator at Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA, and had a brief stint as associate director of student-athlete services at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA.

“I would like to thank President Webster and the search committee for this tremendous opportunity. There was a clear sense of passion for Albion College from everyone I met during the interview process,” said Rushton. “We will keep the student-athlete experience at the forefront of our decision-making, ensuring we focus on their holistic development. There is an excellent coaching staff in place, and I look forward to working alongside them to achieve the highest level of excellence both in the classroom and in competition. I am eager to get to campus and get started.

“I would also like to thank President Drew Van Horn, the staff, and student-athletes at Young Harris,” she added. “These are some of the best coaches and student-athletes I’ve had the privilege to work with and wish them all the best.”

Rushton joins Albion after spending the last 27 years in a variety of athletic administration and coaching roles at NCAA Division I, II, and III institutions, as well as experience in the NAIA. She currently serves as athletic director for Young Harris College, a division II liberal arts college in northeast Georgia.

Rushton is actively involved in the NCAA and has served on multiple committees and participated in a variety of leadership and mentoring programs. She is currently a member of the NCAA Division II Women’s Lacrosse National Committee. In 2023, she was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK) Leadership Honor Society.

She graduated from Trine (formerly Tri-State) with a Bachelor of Science in biology and earned a Master of Science in sports management from Georgia Southern University.

At Trine, she was an all-conference women’s basketball player in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) from 1995-1997, and served as team captain her sophomore, junior, and senior years. In 1996, Rushton led the Thunder to the Elite Eight of the NAIA Division II Tournament and was named an NAIA All-American. She became only the fourth woman at Trine to score over 1,000 points. She was inducted into Trine’s Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Montrose Hill McCloy High School Hall of Fame in 2004.

About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires, and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has four academic divisions: Fine Arts; Humanities; Mathematics, Science, and Technology; and Professional Studies. Approximately 1,400 students are enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Conference Carolinas. For more information, visit yhc.edu.