Settele named UMaine interim athletics director

Capt. James Settele, chief of staff to the president at the University of Maine, has been named UMaine’s interim director of athletics, effective March 12.

Settele, a member of the UMaine community since 2006, replaces Karlton Creech, who has been named vice chancellor for athletics, recreation and Ritchie Center Operations at the University of Denver, effective May 1.

Decisions on a national search for a permanent AD will be made by the next president of the University of Maine.

“Jim brings a wealth of leadership experience, institutional knowledge and organizational skills to the interim AD position,” says UMaine President Susan J. Hunter. “He is well regarded across campus for his work in athletics and academics. He got his start at UMaine as the NROTC commander, has been a member of our faculty and administration, and worked closely with Karlton for the past four years.

“I will miss him as chief of staff,” Hunter says, “but he will be 334 yards away in Memorial Gym and will continue as a member of the President’s Cabinet. As interim AD, he will continue to have an important role in our ongoing work to successfully transition to a new president at the University of Maine. And Black Bear Nation — our student-athletes, athletics staff, donors and fans — will be in good hands.”

Settele retired from the U.S. Navy in 2009 at the rank of Captain after serving more than 27 years on active duty. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982 and became a naval flight officer. He served in four E-2 squadrons on the USS Midway, USS Carl Vinson, USS Enterprise and USS Harry S. Truman, and was commanding officer of the VAW-126 Seahawks. His career also included assignment to the U.S. Naval Central Command in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and the Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C.

From 2001–03, Settele was a military assistant to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and, in 2004, became director of operations, and policy and strategy for the combined staff of Naval Forces Europe and Sixth Fleet, based in Naples, Italy.

In 2006, he came to Maine as commanding officer of the Naval ROTC unit at UMaine, Maine Maritime Academy and Husson University. After retiring from the Navy, he served as executive director of UMaine’s School of Policy and International Affairs (SPIA) prior to joining the President’s Office. He also is an associate graduate faculty member.

Settele has been active in the UMaine community as a member of the UMaine Veterans Outreach Committee, faculty liaison to the football team, and faculty representative for the UMaine Student Veterans Association.

In addition to his extensive military education, he has a master’s degree in information management systems from George Washington University.

At the conclusion of his term as interim AD, Settele will return to his position as executive director of SPIA.