KINGS POINT, N.Y., April 3, 2019 - U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Superintendent, Rear Admiral Jack Buono, announced that CAPT William Fell, (USMC, Ret.) will step in as the Interim Director of Physical Education and Athletics at USMMA while the Academy completes a nationwide search for the next director. Fell takes over from Interim Director Michael Toop who has served in the position since Dec. 2018.
“CAPT Fell’s long-time experience with USMMA Athletics positions him well to lead the department while we complete the nationwide search for a permanent director,” said Buono.
A native of Rootstown, Ohio, Fell graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1978, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. During Fell’s twenty-year United States Marine Corps career, he served in Okinawa, Japan; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Battle Creek, Mich.; and Barstow, Calif.
In 2004, Fell joined the USMMA staff and became the Assistant Athletic Director for Physical Fitness and Club Sports at USMMA. He was chosen to fill the vacant Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen position in 2007 and was subsequently appointed as the Interim Commandant in June 2008. A year later, CAPT Fell became USMMA’s sixteenth Commandant of Midshipmen.
In 2011, he returned to the USMMA Athletic Department as Deputy Athletic Director and acted as the Chief Operating Officer for the department. Since that time, CAPT Fell has served as the Interim Director on two other occasions.
CAPT Fell replaces Coach Michael Toop who has served as the Interim Director since Dec. 2018, and is stepping aside to concentrate on preparations for the upcoming football season. Toop, a 1977 graduate of USMMA, has been on the athletic staff for more than 13 years as the head football coach, associate athletic director, and lead physical education instructor.
“I can’t thank Coach Toop enough for his willingness to step in at a time when we needed him most,” said Buono. “We are happy to have him in the department and running our outstanding football program. He is a superb example of our motto, Acta non Verba.”
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, N.Y, educates and graduates leaders of exemplary character who are inspired to serve the national security, marine transportation, and economic needs of the United States as licensed Merchant Marine Officers and commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. The Academy is administered by the Maritime Administration under the auspices of the Department of Transportation.
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