Richard Wettan first arrived at Queens College as a sixteen year old freshman from Little Neck, NY in 1961. At the College, he participated on several freshman and varsity teams. After graduation, he was appointed as a lecturer and track coach by the college. While working as a lecturer, he earned a masters degree from Brooklyn College. He then went onto receive his doctoral from Ohio State University in 1970.
Upon returning from Ohio, Dr. Wettan was appointed as an Assistant Professor to teach sport history and sport sociology. His other assignment was to coach the soccer team. By 1972, after coaching the soccer team for three years, the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Soccer League voted Dr. Wettan "Coach of the Year" for Division II. The next year the team advanced to Division I.
In March of 1972, Queens College hosted a two-day symposium on "Sport, Man and Contemporary Society," an exploration of the impact of sports on American life. The conference was organized by Dr. Wettan, who had been teaching a course with the same title. It featured a wide range of educators and national sports figures, which created two days of lively controversy with much national media coverage. Dr. Wettan wrote a series of articles and papers about Sport in America, which led to his promotion to Associate Professor.
After coaching, the track and field team and the soccer team, Dr. Wettan was appointed Queens College's Athletic Director in 1978. The entire Athletic and Recreation Program had been retrenched in 1977, and needed to be rebuilt through private fund raising. As a result of the success of business ventures started in support of Athletics, the entire program was moved from NCAA Division III to Division II in 1982.
In the twenty six years Dr. Wettan has served as Athletic Director his department has started six businesses; community recreation, facility rentals, a sports academy camp, an indoor tennis center, campus vending, and just recently, a Saturday education and sports program. Over eighteen thousand children have attended the Sports Academy. The business ventures have brought Queens College over 35 million dollars in income. Over six million dollars has been invested in student grants in aid, and a similar amount in student work study. In addition, the new indoor tennis center and outdoor track were in part funded by Athletics.
The college's athletes have performed with great distinction during Dr. Wettan's leadership. The varsity athletes have consistently out performed their peers in retention and graduation rates. Since 1995 Queens College has won 13 New York Collegiate Athletic Conference and East Coast Conference Championships. Queens has received nearly thirty invitations to NCAA regional tournaments, finishing third twice in Division I Water Polo, and in the "Elite Eight" in Women's Volleyball on two occassions. Dr. Wettan continues to plan for the Athletic Department's growth and success.