Capt. James Settele will become the University of Maine’s interim athletic director, the school announced Friday.

James Settele

Settele is the chief of staff to the president at UMaine. He begins his new role on March 12.

Settele will replace Karlton Creech, who is leaving after four years to take a similar position at the University of Denver, effective May 1.

“Jim brings a wealth of leadership experience, institutional knowledge and organizational skills to the interim AD position,” UMaine President Susan J. Hunter said in a press release. “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.”

Decisions on a national search for a permanent athletic director will be made by the next UMaine president. The school is in the process of interviewing four finalists to replace Hunter, whose appointment as president ends in June.

Settele served 27 years in the U.S. Navy, achieving the rank of Captain before retiring in 2009. He is a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

In 2006 he came to Maine as the commanding officer of the Naval ROTC at UMaine, Maine Maritime Academy and Husson University. He served as executive director of UMaine’s School of Policy and International Affairs before he joined the UMaine President’s office staff.

Settele will return to his position once the school has a permanent athletic director.

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