MILWAUKEE, WIS.-- Heather Parkinson assumed leadership of the Alverno College Athletics department effective Feb. 20, 2018, replacing Jessica Ott, who had been Director of Athletics and head basketball coach since July 2016 and recently resigned from her position.
Parkinson has been a member of the Inferno staff since 2005, when she began as athletic assistant to the Director of Athletics. In 2008, she was named assistant director of Athletics, and in 2015 she was named associate director of Athletics. She helped oversee the expansion of the Inferno to seven athletic teams with the addition of the Tennis and Golf programs.
Parkinson will oversee the Athletics department's recruitment and retention efforts, supervise all Athletics personnel, and lead the development and operation of the department.
"I am thrilled to be leading the Alverno Athletics department. My passion for my work is matched only by the passion I see daily from our dedicated staff and student-athletes," Parkinson said. "Alverno is a special place and creates an environment for an incredible student-athlete experience."
Parkinson also serves as the department's Senior Woman Administrator, a NCAA designation, and the compliance coordinator. She coordinates all major athletics events on campus and was instrumental in the development of the Alverno Athletics Hall of Fame.
"Athletics has grown and changed significantly during my twelve years here, but one of the best parts is the privilege of meeting so many student-athletes who made a positive impact on Alverno and are now successful alums," Parkinson commented. "I look forward to seeing many more athletes walk across that stage in the future."
Before Alverno, Parkinson was the assistant coach for the men's and women's swimming teams at her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, for six years. During that time, she coached more than 20 individual and relay conference champions, two conference championship teams, and the first NCAA provisional qualifiers for the men's and women's teams.
As a four-year letter winner on UWM's swim team, Parkinson was the first athlete to capture an individual women's conference title, winning the 100-yard backstroke in 1997. She repeated as conference champ in 1998 and was runner-up in 1999.
Parkinson was a two-time All-Midwestern Collegiate Conference team selection (1997-98); a three-time All-MCC Academic Team selection (1997-99); team Rookie of the Year (1996); team MVP (1997); and a two-time team Scholar Athlete (1998-99). Additionally, she was named a CoSIDA Academic All-American in 1997.
A native of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Parkinson was twice named to the all-state swimming team and received two all-conference honors in softball at Lincoln High School. She was named to the halls of fame at Lincoln High School in 2008 and UWM in 2009.
Parkinson received her bachelor's degree in English from UWM in 1999 and her master's degree in counseling from Lakeland College in 2009. She resides in West Bend with her husband and two daughters.
About Alverno College Athletics
Alverno College is a Division III member of the NCAA and a member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC). The Alverno Inferno were founded in 2000 and offer seven intercollegiate sports: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. The Athletics department has won the annual NACC "Cans Across the Conference" food drive competition for eight consecutive years and won the NACC Sportsmanship Award four times.