A native of England, Les Poolman received a bachelor’s degree from Keele University in Staffordshire, England and a master’s degree from WVU. He later received a doctorate in higher education administration and physical education/athletic administration from WVU where he was also an assistant soccer coach.
Poolman joined Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., as athletic director in 1988, having previously served as the director at Mount Holyoke College. He created a strong environment, new sports and helped build and renovate the athletic facilities at Dickinson College.
During this time, he oversaw a pair of national track and field champions, 48 Centennial Conference championships in 12 sports, championship play in 18 sports and a national ranking of 41 for the Division III schools in the 2013-14 Learfield Sports Directors’ cup.
He also added three new varsity teams to the school with women’s golf and both men’s and women’s squash. This included serving as the intern squash coach until the inaugural season for the sport, women’s tennis coach from 1988-1990 and men’s soccer coach in 1992-1994.
Poolman served on numerous college committees including the Student Wellness Advisory Group, Title IX Committee, Presidents Commission for Women, McAndrews Fund for Athletics Committee and the Hillel Advisory Board. He taught physical education classes and three First-Year Seminars and participated in several spring break trips and summer sessions in England and South America with faculty and students.
Poolman has taken a leadership role in the construction or renovation of many athletic facilities, including: Dickinson Park, MacPhail Baseball Field and Phyllis Joan Miller Memorial Field; the renovation of the Biddle Field complex; the state-of-the-art Durden Athletic Training Center.
Poolman established the 19-acre Dickinson Park, renovated the Biddle Field complex and the Durden Athletic Training Center. He also spear headed the building of the net Kline Fitness Center which hosts the squash teams and provides a space for both athletes and the rest of the college to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
He also spread his influence beyond the school athletics as an active member of the NCAA leadership at the national level, serving on several committees alongside a number of committees at the school itself.
He is described as a “mentor to legions of Dickinson students; a committed ambassador for the college to families, prospective students, alumni and the local community at large; and a devoted colleague and friend to faculty and staff past and present.”