Honoring Over 100 Years of Service in Athletic Retirements

In the past year, the athletic department at Wilkes bid farewell to three dedicated and beloved employees: Addy Malatesta, athletic director, Phil Wingert, associate athletic director and Tom Dunsmuir, equipment and facilities coordinator.

Addy Malatesta, athletic director

Originally published in The Beacon student newspaper, reported by Baylee Guedes ’23, Sports Editor, and Wren Haze ’24, Opinion Editor
Wilkes University’s director of athletics, Addy Malatesta, will retire in the summer of 2023 after 34 years of commitment to the Colonels.

“Addy has been a dedicated fixture for Wilkes athletics over the past four decades,” said Jonathan Drach, head football coach. “Her care and support for student athletes and staff has set the tone and culture for a high-functioning athletic department.

Before spending the last 23 years as the athletic director, Malatesta started her tenure at Wilkes as the head coach for the field hockey team for 14 years. She led the Colonels to an overall record of 140-113-9 and guided the team to the NCAA Division III championships in the 1995 season. In 1999, Malatesta led the Colonels to win their first-ever Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) crown. Malatesta also served as the head softball coach from 1990-1994 and guided the Colonels to an overall five-year record of 60-52-1 while appearing in both the MAC and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) playoffs.

Addy Malatesta (center) with Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, Mark Allen (left) and President Greg Cant (right)
Addy Malatesta (center) with Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, Mark Allen (left) and President Greg Cant (right)
“It is hard for me to choose my best moment in my 34 years at Wilkes,” said Malatesta. “I share great memories with the women that I coached at Wilkes. It was less about the championship titles and more about the relationships and unwavering support we had for each other that created our unforgettable experiences.”

Malatesta is proud to have played a role in the sport sponsorship expansion and capital projects that will benefit student athletes for years to come. In the past 10 years alone, Malatesta has overseen a multitude of projects. One of these included the renovation of the Ralston Athletic Complex, which added a turf field playing surface along with a high-powered field lighting system, and new bleachers and press box. This renovation also included six all-weather tennis courts as well as an expansion of the Munson Field House by adding new locker rooms and an athletic training facility.

In 2018, Malatesta was the leading role when Wilkes partnered with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, located at the Toyota SportsPlex at Coal Street Park. This partnership was able to land the ice hockey team a home rink. Renovations took place as she oversaw the construction of men’s and women’s locker rooms that were solely dedicated for the university’s ice hockey teams. “Addy has been one of the pillars of Wilkes athletics for as long as anyone can remember,” said graduate student Phil Erickson ’22. “Her name has been synonymous with the success that the Wilkes Colonels have had throughout her prestigious career. On a personal note, our hockey program would have never come to fruition without her hard work and pursuit of excellence.”

The Bruggeworth Field was one of Malatesta’s most recent projects. The renovations included a turf field that is used for men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s lacrosse and field hockey. Enhancements were made for two new press boxes, two spectator areas and a scoreboard.

Malatesta stated that she will miss the day-to-day interactions with the members of the athletic staff and athletic trainers. “They became my new team when I retired from coaching,” said Malatesta. Malatesta plans to spend her retirement traveling, attending athletic events at her own leisure and being with her family.

headshot of Phil Wingert

Phil Wingert, Associate Athletic Director

Following a four-decade career as a coach and athletic administrator, Phil Wingert retired from Wilkes in June, 2022.

“I have been truly blessed to be in athletics all these years, a career I dreamed about in my youth,” said Wingert. “It has been a gift to have been a part of Wilkes College and University the past four decades, a place where my family and I have forged unforgettable relationships with many players, assistant coaches, colleagues and mentors. I want to thank all of my colleagues across the Wilkes campus and across various universities that I’ve had the pleasure to associate with during my time in athletics,” he added.

Wingert joined Wilkes in 1982 as men’s soccer head coach serving on the Colonels sidelines for 35 years before transitioning to his athletic administration role in 2017. He also coached the Colonels men’s tennis team for four seasons (1987-90) and the women’s squad for two seasons in 1985 and 1986. In 2017, Wingert announced his retirement from coaching and continued serving as associate athletic director where he helped manage the 60-plus Wilkes athletic staff and served as the main contact for athletic scheduling and compliance for all 23 teams.

“Phil’s legacy at Wilkes goes far beyond his successful coaching career and his administrative expertise,” said Wilkes University Athletic Director Addy Malatesta. “He will most be remembered for his decades of service on behalf of the student-athletes and the Wilkes community.”

In his three-plus decades of coaching at Wilkes, Wingert left a lasting legacy on the men’s soccer program, having coached in more than 600 games reaching the 300-win plateau during the 2015 season. His teams registered double-figure victories 15 times while reaching the postseason 14 times in 26 seasons in an always-competitive Middle Atlantic Conference.

Under Wingert’s guidance, the Colonels won the ECAC Southern Division championship in 1990, the MAC Northeast Division title in 1992 and a share of the MAC Freedom League title in 1997. His 1991 squad set a school record with 16 wins a year after winning 15 games, which was part of a four-year stretch with an incredible 53 wins.

“He has been instrumental in shaping the lives of countless soccer alums and influencing the members of the athletic staff with his counsel,” noted Malatesta.

“After 40 years at Wilkes and the Middle Atlantic Conference, it’s a good time to step aside, make room for new leadership and fresh ideas as the University and the athletic program prepares to transition to the Landmark Conference,” noted Wingert.

headshot of Tom Dunsmuir

Tom Dunsmuir, Equipment and Facilities Coordinator

Following 40 years as a fixture in Colonels athletics, Tom Dunsmuir retired in November 2022.

“I can not thank everyone enough at Wilkes University for all the support given to me over the years,” said Dunsmuir. “When I first started at then-Wilkes College, I had no idea the growth this University would experience including the Marts Center, Karambelas Media and Communication Center, Ralston Athletic Complex and Bruggeworth Field. Most of all the enjoyment of meeting the new student-athletes every year and watching them graduate and succeed has been so rewarding,” added Dunsmuir.

“Tom is one of the most beloved and respected athletic staff members at Wilkes,” said Wilkes Athletics Director Addy Malatesta. “He has had an impact on the lives of thousands of student-athletes for four decades, many of whom return to campus to spend time with him.”

Dunsmuir joined Wilkes in 1982 as equipment and facilities coordinator where he was responsible for the equipment and laundry services for all Colonels sports teams. He was also the point-person for game-day setup, facility maintenance along with working with vendors to purchase equipment and uniforms for all teams. Dunsmuir also served as the liaison for Athletics with the Wilkes facilities department.

“Tom’s service on University committees and contribution to capital projects throughout the years was invaluable,” added Malatesta.

Dunsmuir also served as an assistant coach with the Wilkes softball program earlier in his career at Wilkes. During that time he helped the Colonels advance to the conference playoffs on 11 occasions. During that same span, Wilkes earned three berths into the NCAA Division III Championship and five trips to the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Championships.

“Although I will miss all of the people I grew close with during my time at Wilkes, I am looking forward to spending more time with my family,” noted Dunsmuir. “Most of my new time will be spent attending all of my grandchildren’s activities and watching them grow.”