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  • Writer's picturePAT CARBONE

Athletic leaders leave Lasell for other opportunities

When each new academic year begins, new faces arrive on campus, starting a new chapter of their lives. However, when one new chapter begins, another must end. That has been the case for many prominent figures, including former Director of Sports Medicine Chris Noyes, now at Dean College, and Director of Athletic Communications Rob Papazian, heading to Curry College.


When Papazian began working as director of athletic communications in November of 2022, he was returning to his home state of Massachusetts after a five-month stint as the sports information director at Albright College in Pennsylvania. With his new role in the Commonwealth, he took on two more roles as scheduling coordinator and home event manager. Within the three positions that he filled, the reasoning for holding three different titles was, “That’s just what I was hired for.” said Papazian.


Over the course of his 15-month stint, witnessing the women’s volleyball team capture the 2023 GNAC Championship sits on top for his favorite moment as a Laser. “There are some people that will go their entire careers without being able to win a conference championship at the school that they’re at. So, to be able to do that within a year of being here at Lasell was really awesome,” said Papazian.


Though capturing a conference championship may be a highlight, the bond Papazian created with the students was his biggest reward. “I appreciate every single student that has worked with me or that has been an athlete. The students and the student-athletes are the reason we do this job. Papazian had such an impact on his students and student-athletes during his time here that when he announced his departure, he said, “I had people tell me they cried.” 


Junior criminal justice major Max Corson works as a game day staff member under Papazian and has built a friendly relationship over their time working together. “He was very hip to everyone’s interests and actually cared for the person,” said Corson. “It wasn’t just we’re the employee and he’s the boss, he actually tried to strengthen the bond between each other.”


Although Corson is sad to see his boss leave, he’s happy Papazian is heading to an opportunity that allows him to grow. “I wish him the best. I think this is a great opportunity for him,” said Corson. “He’s very deserving of this position he’s been granted.”


Papazian will move to Curry College as their assistant athletic director of communications. With the Colonels, he’ll continue in a similar role to his current position. However, he’ll leave behind the home event manager and scheduling coordinator titles.


At Curry, Papapzian looks forward to gaining experience working with their football and nationally-ranked hockey teams. “That’s something I’ve never had before. That’s somewhere to get the experience for hockey… It was a good opportunity,” said Papazian.


Also leaving for other opportunities was Chris Noyes, who ended his time as a Laser after nine years at the head of the sports medicine department. During his tenure, Noyes and his team significantly impacted the direction of the sports medicine department. Noyes was a major part of leading athletics through the COVID-19 pandemic, while also significantly increasing their network of cardiologists, chiropractors, and physiatrists.


When Noyes first arrived on campus in 2014, it was “behind the times,” as they had yet to switch to an electronic medical record system. “The concussion testing protocols were not up to standard, and over the years, that started to change,” said Noyes.


Along with bringing the concussion protocol up to standard, Noyes fought for the progression of multiple sports medicine policies and higher wages for his training staff. 


Though his list of accomplishments is long, Noyes feels the relationships he built with his staff are his fondest memories.“My happiest times at Lasell were the last two years when I had [Mari McCarthy, Megan Stella, and Jamie Hanna]...Once they came along, that’s when I was happiest,” said Noyes.


Though working with his new team made him happiest, circumstances pushed Noyes to move on from Lasell. Noyes was left uneasy when former Athletic Director Kristy Walter’s position was eliminated, influencing his decision to depart. “There was no warning. She’d been there for thirty years…She shows up one day, and it’s like, goodbye,” said Noyes.


Since leaving Auburndale, Noyes has taken up the role of strength and conditioning coach, as well as teaching exercise science courses at Dean College. “I’m building tremendous relationships with the athletes, which is rewarding. I’m getting buy-in from my programs, and they’re all seeing results,” said Noyes in his early time at Dean.


Despite looking to the future as a Bulldog, Noyes still thinks about what could’ve been a lifelong tenure as a Laser. “I loved Lasell. I still miss it every single day. I wish I was back there. But I know it’s shaky ground and I got a family to look after,” said Noyes.


“My long-term goal was to stay at Lasell until I retired… But once I saw the writing on the wall, I realized I had to leave.”


Interim Athletic Department Leader David Hennessey gave insight into eliminating the athletic director position and its effects on the athletic department as a whole. “The cuts that had to be made were made at the time. I don’t anticipate any more cuts at this point,” said Hennessey. “It wasn’t anything personal. It was a restructuring,” said Hennessey in regards to the athletic director position being cut.


 “Kristy was a highly valued member of the community…She earned the loyalty that you’re hearing from the people,” said Hennessey. “Those things are hard to do. Lose people you value working with. But the institution moves on.”


Hennessey also explained that President Eric Turner holds monthly “town meetings” where employees receive updates and are able to anonymously ask questions for their comfort to ensure job security or any other concerns.


Concerning Papazian and Noyes leaving, Hennessey feels immense gratitude for the work both committed to the university. “We appreciate everything they contributed while they were here,” said Hennessey.

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