Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Jake Olkkola, Harold Alfond Director of Athletics

Jake Olkkola

Jake Olkkola, an administrator and former coach who has held leadership roles at the University of Delaware and Harvard University, was named the Harold Alfond Director of Athletics in 2017, and is overseeing the emergence of Colby Athletics as one of the nation’s premier Division III programs.

Over his first two years, several Colby varsity athletic teams, club teams, and individual athletes have won NESCAC titles and competed at the top levels of NCAA Division III. 

Prior to Colby, Olkkola was senior associate director of athletics at the University of Delaware. As a member of the senior leadership team for seven years, he had a role in helping teams achieve conference and national championships while overseeing the design and construction of UD’s award-winning athletic and recreation facility, the Carpenter Sports Building. 

At the University of Delaware, Olkkola served as chief financial officer and as a senior administrator for the Department of Athletics and Recreation Services. He oversaw a program that yielded 10 national championships over the last seven years in the sports of field hockey, men’s ice hockey, figure skating, men’s volleyball, and women’s lacrosse.
 
Additionally, he served as sport administrator for women’s outdoor track and field’s first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) conference championship. Olkkola also previously served as sport administrator for the UD women’s golf and baseball programs. 
 
As director of recreation services at Harvard, Olkkola led a club sports program of more than 30 sports that included approximately 900 student athletes.
 
Colby’s search committee, which included faculty, staff, and students, was particularly drawn to Olkkola’s philosophy and approach. 
 
“The search committee was particularly impressed by Jake’s relentless pursuit of comprehensive excellence, oversight of award-winning capital projects, and promotion of campus-wide health and wellness,” said Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Matt Proto, who chaired the search committee. “With increased demand for a Colby education from highly qualified students and an all-new athletic complex underway, we see this as an especially important moment for Colby athletics, and we’re pleased to have Jake on board.”
 
In 2020, Colby is opening a new 350,000-square-foot athletics center, which will be among the best Division III facilities in the nation and serve as a resource for the entire campus, as well as athletes in Waterville, the state of Maine, and New England. It will include an indoor track and field competition center, Maine’s first Olympic-sized pool, squash center, gymnasium, hockey arena, fitness center and studios, as well as training rooms and coaching suites. 
 
The new center follows the installation of Colby's three new relocated competition and recreational fields, including a practice field, a competition soccer field, and the Bill Alfond Field, for field hockey and lacrosse, and new synthetic turf baseball-softball complex, which has made Waterville a destination for competition in both sports.

Olkkola and his wife, Michelle, have three children.

“I am humbled and honored to assume the responsibility of leading Colby athletics into a new era,” said Olkkola. “This is a dynamic time with many great opportunities on the horizon for Colby and for the city of Waterville."