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IU Northwest welcomes new Athletic Director

Kristofer Schnatz intends to become a visible and accessible leader

Wednesday Nov 07, 2012


Indiana University Northwest recently announced the appointment of Kristofer Schnatz as its new Athletic Director. Schnatz comes from Purdue University North Central (PNC), where he served as assistant athletic director and head coach of the men’s basketball team.

A native of Long Island, NY, Schnatz earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Transportation/Business Administration from the State University of New York Maritime College and earned his Master of Science in Sports Administration from Valparaiso University in 2005. 

Schnatz moved to Northwest Indiana 12 years ago to accept a job as the boat captain of Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, where he oversaw the daily operations and business side of the vessel.

Schnatz played college basketball and said that he had worked as a coach of that sport every day since college until accepting his current position at IU Northwest. Schnatz served as assistant coach for Chesterton High School before heading to PNC.

“This is the first year since I was 7,” he said, “that I haven’t been coaching or playing basketball.”

In his position at IU Northwest, Schnatz intends to combine his business savvy with his athletics background to build an ever more esteemed athletics program. At PNC, he emphasized the student-athlete experience, student retention and graduation. During his tenure at PNC, the athletic program grew in a number of areas, including media relations, social media exposure, community affiliation and on-campus presence.  At IU Northwest, Schnatz intends to focus his efforts on game-day operations, organization and attendance improvements. 

Clearly, Schnatz is not a behind-the-desk kind of guy. He promised to be at every home game in order to provide support and be accessible to the athletes and fans.

“My main goal is to make sure that the game day experience is a great experience for the players, the fans, the opponent – everybody,” he said.

As far as his personal love of sports goes, Schnatz is a basketball athlete through and through, but when he puts on his fan hat, it is baseball he loves, especially the New York Mets.

For those who might be wondering how a basketball player at heart is not also a diehard hoops fan, Schnatz explained, “You watch basketball differently when you become a coach and a player. . . . It’s hard to sit back and be a fan.”

Regardless of the game, competition is in his blood. Schnatz laughingly said that even his 7-year-old twin daughters, Lia and Taylor, and 5-year-old daughter, Aybriel, do not get any breaks when playing games with their dad.

Are they going to follow his athletic path? “I think I have three cheerleaders on my hands,” he laughed.

Schnatz currently resides in Chesterton, with his daughters and his wife, Kristen.

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