HANOVER, N.H. - Rick Bender, who served as Sports Information Director at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., for eight years, has been named Director of Varsity Athletics Communications at Dartmouth College, according to an announcement by Director of Athletics and Recreation Jo Ann Harper.

"Rick has earned an outstanding reputation in the field of collegiate sports information," said Harper. "We are very excited and fortunate that we are able to bring his talents and expertise to Dartmouth."

At Dartmouth, Bender will oversee communications for the Big Green's 34 Division I varsity sports, including publications, the DartmouthSports.com web site, and media relations. He will also serve as a member of the senior management team for the Department of Athletics and Recreation.

"I am absolutely thrilled to join the Dartmouth community, with its rich history and balance of outstanding academics and athletics," said Bender. "Having the opportunity to promote Big Green athletics and preserve its history is a tremendous honor and I anxiously look forward to working with the staff, student-athletes and college."

Bender joined the sports information staff at Davidson as an assistant director in 1996, and was promoted to director in 1999. In that role, he oversaw the communications efforts for the Wildcats' 21 Division I varsity sports.

A 1993 Davidson graduate, Bender was a three-time all-conference shortstop for the Wildcats, then served as an assistant baseball coach for his alma mater from 1993-1996. He also played four seasons of professional baseball in the Texas-Louisiana and Frontier Leagues before beginning his 11-year tenure in Davidson's sports information office.

In 2005 Bender also served as media coordinator for the NCAA Division I men's basketball first- and second-round games in Charlotte, N.C.. He left Davidson in 2007 due to his family's relocation to the Birmingham, Ala. area. He and his wife, Mitze, have a four-year-old son, Jake.

Bender will assume his duties at Dartmouth on July 1, filling the position vacated when Kathy Slattery Phillips died suddenly in November, 2007, after a brief illness. Phillips had served in Dartmouth's sports information office for three decades, the last 24 years as director.