Athletic Director Keith Levinthal Leaves Sidwell

Athletic Director Keith Levinthal has cemented his legacy at Sidwell Friends, aiding in the establishment of a strong athletic culture in Middle and Upper School sports teams. In June, Levinthal will leave Sidwell after five years of serving in his current role.

During Levinthal’s tenure at Sidwell, the Quakers have won numerous ISL, MAC and DCSAA state championships. Among these successes are the 2021-2022 girls’ and boys’ basketball teams, ranked No. 1 and No. 20 in the country, respectively.

Levinthal believes that the school’s recent athletic successes are the products of developing a unique culture in the athletic program. In his first interview for his current position at Sidwell, he told Head of School Bryan Garman that ensuring this culture is “right” allows for everything else to fall into place.

In addition to strengthening Sidwell’s athletic teams, Levinthal introduced the rebranding of the school’s mascot, “Star the Fox,” looking to strengthen Sidwell’s cultures of integrity and commitment.

I’m inspired and motivated every day to work on [the students’] behalf.

— Keith Levinthal

The new mascot was unveiled in 2019 on Founder’s Day, and it immediately gained popularity among the student body. Levinthal concluded the special event by saying, “it will be the story of the entire Sidwell Friends community that wows you.”

In 2019, Levinthal also established the Sidwell Friends Leadership Academy, a program that trains student-athletes to become leaders both on their sports teams and within their communities.

Levinthal brought the Academy to Sidwell after sports leadership expert Jeff Janssen spoke with coaches in 2018.

“The next logical step was to provide our students with the tools to lead themselves and each of their teammates,” Levinthal explained. “We were so happy with our work with Jeff that we decided to work with his Sports Leadership Institute to create our own Leadership Academy.”

The Leadership Academy also reflects Levinthal’s goals as an athletic director. “Giving students ownership of their athletic experience has always been a priority for me and helping students use their voice is key to enhancing the athletic experience,” he said.

Upper School Math Teacher Jon Mormino, who is also a baseball, golf and Leadership Academy coach, has worked closely with Levinthal for the past five years, assisting with several of his initiatives. He views Levinthal as an instrumental part of Sidwell athletics’ success and growth over the past few years, praising him for encouraging “all the programs to embrace the idea of creating a challenging, dynamic and rewarding environment for their teams.”

Levinthal expressed that he will miss the students most after leaving Sidwell: “I’m inspired and motivated every day to work on their behalf to create the best possible athletic experience,” he said. “99%  of my interactions with students have been nothing but incredibly positive.”

Levinthal also credited the alumni and parents for their dedication, adding that their support was “second to none, and we would not have made it through this pandemic without them.”

Levinthal emphasized his incredible experience at the school: “I’ve enjoyed our partnership immensely.”

Levinthal’s leadership has also motivated members of the Sidwell Friends community to continue building a strong athletics program after his departure.

“Keith spends most of his day trying to figure out how we can be better,” Mormino said. “He has a wealth of knowledge about what others do, but he isn’t satisfied with copying the best out there. He wants to be better than the best. And, the example he sets inspires those around him to follow.”