WILMINGTON, Ohio – Wilmington College Vice President for Athletic Administration and Director of Athletics Terry Rupert announced the hiring of Mitch Blankespoor as the College's director of athletic communications on Wednesday.
"We are excited for Mitch to join the Wilmington College family and our department," said Rupert. "His experience, knowledge and passion for NCAA Division III are perfect for promoting the successes of Wilmington student-athletes, coaches and teams. His track record speaks for itself."
Blankespoor comes to Wilmington from Earlham College where he served as the director of sports marketing and communications for the last two-and-a-half years. At Earlham, he oversaw the promotion of the College's 20 varsity athletics programs while also developing a branding guide for the marketing of Quaker athletics. Headed by the design and launch of Earlham's current athletics website, Blankespoor broadened the College's virtual reach by increasing its social media presence by over 200 percent through graphics, video content and a mobile application. He also worked with Wilmington to re-create the Quaker Bowl Rivalry this academic year.
In the fall of 2016, Blankespoor vaulted Earlham's athletics department to the national stage as Head Football Coach Nick Johnson was featured in a 5-minute video on ESPN's College GameDay. He also hosted the 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament last spring.
"I am humbled and thrilled to be joining Wilmington College as the director of athletic communications," Blankespoor said. "Wilmington has a deep tradition of academic achievement and athletic success, and I could not be more thankful to Terry Rupert and the search committee for trusting me to market the successes of the Fightin' Quakers' student-athletes."
Blankespoor is no stranger to NCAA Division III having made stops at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Kalamazoo College before arriving at Earlham in the summer of 2015. He played a critical role in getting Rose-Hulman mentioned on ESPN's SportsCenter following a 74-68 triple overtime football victory over Illinois College during the 2014 season as well as designing a website documenting Kalamazoo's streak of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships in men's tennis.
A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Blankespoor graduated from Calvin College in 2013 with a degree in sport management (kinesiology and business focus). He was a student assistant in the Calvin sports information office for four years and obtained an internship in that office his senior year. During that time, Blankespoor was honored with the MIAA Renner Associate SID Award at the conclusion of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 academic years. The award, named after longtime Hope College Sports Information Director Tom Renner, is given to a student who contributes to an MIAA member school's sports information office. To date, he holds the distinction of being the only 2-time winner of the award.
In December of 2016, Blankespoor graduated from Indiana State University with a master's degree in recreation and sports management. He is an active member of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and serves on the Academic All-America committee. Outside of higher education, Blankespoor has served as the director of public relations for the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Boys' 18 and 16 National Championships held in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for the last five years.
Blankespoor, who will also be an adjunct member of the Wilmington faculty in the sports management program beginning next academic year, will assume his role as director of athletic communications on Dec. 5.