General McArthur III became the new Athletics director (AD) at Moraine Valley Community College on July 1.
McArthur has been adjusting to the new role, vacated by Bill Finn when he retired June 30 after 43 years at the college. Finn, also the men’s basketball coach for the first 23 years, built the program as only the second Moraine Valley AD. McArthur is excited to take over the reins and maintain the program’s successful traditions.
“I feel a little pressure to continue winning because Bill had a great legacy of that and helping students. But, I think with the help of my team, we can continue the winning tradition and helping students even after they leave Moraine Valley,” McArthur said. “Bill left great groundwork to build on.”
McArthur takes over a storied program that includes 10 Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference All-Sports trophies, hundreds of student-athletes earning academic honors, 57 teams competing at nationals, 30 All-Americans and a six-year-old Athletics Hall of Fame, among many highlights. And he’s ready to move the program forward.
“I want more student-athletes to graduate but also have a good experience while they are here, have them more involved on campus with more community exposure. We need to make sure they’re as prepared as possible when they transfer and graduate. I also want our campus to be excited about Athletics because we have great teams,” he said. “I, of course, want to bring the All-Sports trophy back here. I want to win academically and athletically.”
That mix of school and sports led McArthur to this job. At first, he thought about becoming a lawyer because he grew up in a rough neighborhood. A quick college visit to Princeton University helped him realize that wasn’t the right path. He was good in math and thought becoming an accountant would be ideal. After earning a bachelor’s in accounting as a first-generation college student and working in the field, he was unhappy.
He later earned an MBA with a concentration in finance and a master’s degree in human resources with a concentration in marketing. He first taught economics at DeVry University, where he met Dr. JoAnn Jenkins, Moraine Valley dean of Student Success. That led to him teaching College 101 and developmental math part time at the college 15 years ago. McArthur ultimately became the Veteran Services coordinator, and in 2015, he moved over to Athletics as the athletic student success specialist.
“I wanted to be involved in sports but didn’t know what kind of careers were available. Accounting seemed like a viable option at the time,” McArthur recalled. “When Gloria [Coughlin, former athletic student success specialist] retired, I saw the job opening and wanted to work in Athletics. I figured Bill would eventually retire, so my plan was to become AD.”
McArthur’s background in sports includes playing baseball in high school and basketball intramurally. For the last 21 summers, he’s coached park district or travel baseball, starting with his son’s team. He’s even coached overseas. He knows junior college sports because his son played baseball at one, so he understands what the student-athletes deal with on a daily basis.
In his role prior to becoming AD, McArthur worked with hundreds of students and helped the Cyclones baseball team for a time. Finn introduced him to aspects of the job so he’d be ready to jump in.
“General has really done a fantastic job learning the nuances of being a college athletic director in the past three years. Moraine Valley’s amazing, successful athletic history regionally and nationally is in good hands,” Finn commented.
McArthur hit the ground running at the start of July as did his replacement, Marie Harrell.7
“It was fast-paced at first, but we’ll be ready for the school year to start,” McArthur said. “I’m excited for the new academic year and for the new president of our college [Dr. Pamela Haney also started July 1]. We have a lot to look forward to.”
For updates on Cyclones Athletics, visit mvcyclones.com.
For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist and sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or Vizzam@morainevalley.edu.