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SBJ/June 25-July 1, 2012/In Depth
2011-12 Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award
Published June 25, 2012, Page 20
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Football Bowl Subdivision
University of Toledo
Now in his 10th year as Toledo’s AD, O’Brien has been instrumental in initiating one of the most comprehensive construction schedules in school history, completing more than five major projects during his tenure, totaling more than $40 million. He has led the Rockets to 17 Mid-American Conference Championships in seven sports, bowl game victories and the 2011 WNIT National Championship.
University of Southern Mississippi
Giannini, who announced his retirement in December, transformed the face and landscape of Southern Miss athletics. In his time with the Golden Eagles, Giannini’s administration raised more money for athletics collectively than all prior Southern Miss athletic directors. He created the Southern Miss Athletic Foundation, raising more than $67 million for capital projects.
Phillips is in his fifth year as Northwestern AD. Under his guidance, the school’s football and men’s basketball programs have reached postseason play in each of the last four seasons. Women’s lacrosse (six NCAA titles), women’s tennis (13 straight Big Ten titles), men’s soccer, softball, men’s golf, fencing and wrestling all have won team or individual conference championships. Ticket sales, sponsorship and development revenues are at all-time highs.
Since McCaw’s tenure as Baylor’s AD began in 2003, the school has won three NCAA team championships and 35 Big 12 Conference titles. Baylor led the Big 12 in graduation rates for three consecutive years and student athletes recorded their highest cumulative grade-point average on record during 2010-11 at 3.12. McCaw spearheaded a strategic plan that led to a successful $95 million development campaign.
Football Championship Subdivision
Stony Brook University
Now in his ninth year as AD, Fiore has restructured the program with the hiring of new coaching and administrative staffs, implemented facility upgrades, celebrated record philanthropic achievements, and overseen budget growth from $9 million to $20 million. He now is overseeing nearly $80 million in facility upgrades, highlighted by a new basketball arena and new baseball stadium.
Barber was named AD in 2006 and immediately began efforts to improve every athletic venue. Liberty is building a 2,500-seat baseball stadium, a new basketball practice facility and new golf facilities. In 2010, Liberty expanded Williams Stadium, increasing the seating capacity to 19,200, and adding an 11,000-square-foot Flames Club Pavilion and 18 luxury suites.
North Dakota State University
Since Taylor joined North Dakota State in 2001, the school’s athletic budget has tripled from $5 million to $15 million, while the scholarship endowment has grown to $11.2 million. On the field, the Bison football team won the 2011 FCS National Championship in its second playoff appearance. Meanwhile, the athletic program is raising $32 million to build the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.
Montana State University
Fields, now in his 10th year as AD, led the athletic department to its first Sterling Bank Presidents’ Cup for being the top program in the Big Sky Conference for academic and athletic achievement. For 20 consecutive semesters, MSU athletes have combined for a cumulative team grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Outside the classroom, Fields has initiated a feasibility study for a major capital campaign to reshape facilities.
Now finishing his 12th year as AD, Bobinski has led Xavier to athletic and academic success. Xavier’s latest graduation success rate was 94 percent and the NCAA recognized eight of the school’s athletic programs for their academic excellence. Also under Bobinski’s watch, nine Xavier teams have earned 39 team or individual spots in NCAA championship competition, and won 25 Atlantic 10 championships.
Virginia Commonwealth University*
Teague arrived as AD in 2006 and has overseen a $4 million upgrade to the Siegel Center multipurpose facility, as well as a $10 million practice facility. He helped build the men’s basketball program into national prominence after hiring Shaka Smart to lead the team. The Rams established attendance records, while season-ticket revenue doubled.
* Shortly after being named a NACDA award winner, Teague was hired to become AD at Minnesota.
Oral Roberts University
Carter accepted the AD position more than 17 years ago and has since turned his vision for Oral Roberts into a reality, choosing coaches and administrators to lead the Golden Eagle athletic programs and making improvements to all facilities. Since joining the Summit League, the Golden Eagles have won nine Commissioner’s Cups in 14 years and have made 75 NCAA tournament appearances.
University of Denver
Bradley-Doppes was appointed director of athletics and recreation six years ago and since then has been promoted to vice chancellor of athletics and recreation. Most recently, she led Denver’s conference realignment efforts, as the Pioneers will join the Western Athletic Conference in 2012-13 for 10 sports, and the National Collegiate Hockey Conference for hockey in 2013-14.
The 2011-12 academic year marked Goldring’s 14th year as Ashland’s AD and his 34th year in collegiate athletics administration. Last year, 13 of the school’s 20 teams advanced to NCAA postseason play. Goldring’s tenure has been marked by major improvements to Ashland’s athletic facilities including the football/track/soccer facility, and the baseball complex.
Saint Leo University
Reidy has led the Saint Leo athletic department for more than a decade. During that time, the school has added nine sports, with the most recent, women’s lacrosse, beginning this past spring. Reidy has overseen facility improvements that include a new softball stadium, fitness center, sports medicine area and the SLU Tennis Center.
Concordia University, St. Paul
Rubbelke has presided over Concordia athletics since 2005, guiding the department to 26 NCAA tournament appearances, including five consecutive NCAA Division II national championships in volleyball. He has led the way to bring football, soccer and track and field their own on-campus stadium. Sea Foam Stadium will be a multipurpose facility that will be utilized year-round.
Abilene Christian University
Now in his eighth year as AD at Abilene Christian, Mosley has seen his teams win 10 national championships, 17 NCAA regional championships and more than 40 conference championships. He has secured $1.3 million in new athletic endowments, bringing ACU’s total athletic endowment to $9.5 million. He has overseen approximately $3.5 million in facility improvements.
Nelson has been a part of Suffolk athletics for four decades, beginning his tenure in 1966 as an assistant director of athletics and men’s assistant basketball coach before being named AD in 1975. From 1976-95, he was head coach of the men’s basketball team, guiding the Rams to appearances in the NCAA Division III regional tournament.
Fairleigh Dickinson University, College at Florham
Klika has been AD at Fairleigh Dickinson’s College at Florham for 24 years. Seventeen percent of the school’s full-time undergraduates participate in varsity athletics. Klika has added seven new athletic teams, bringing the total to 19. He established the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame and Student Advisory Board, and oversaw the construction of the Ferguson Recreation Center and Robert T. Shields Field.
Wilmington (Ohio) College
Rupert has been the AD at Wilmington since 1996 and was named vice president for athletics administration in 2007. During Rupert’s tenure, the school has added men’s and women’s swimming, and in 2012-13 will add varsity men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. New turf and lighting were added to Williams Stadium in 2008 to illuminate football, soccer, lacrosse and track and field events.
University of Redlands
Martinez became the director of athletics and physical education at Redlands in 2000, and has been a member of the Bulldog staff since 1983. Under his direction, the Bulldogs have won three Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference All-Sports trophies and finished second in the remaining years of his tenure.
Junior College/Community College
Mohawk Valley Community College
Broadhurst has spent the last 33 years working with Mohawk Valley athletics. During that time, the Hawks have captured 16 NJCAA national championships and 47 regional championships. Broadhurst played a key role in the planning and development of the school’s Robert R. Jorgensen Athletic/Events Center. In addition to his role as associate dean of athletics and physical education, Broadhurst is a professor.
Harford Community College
Krsolovic has expanded the athletic program to 14 teams since his hiring five years ago. He shaped the direction of a $28 million addition and renovation of the college’s indoor athletic facilities to include Northeastern Maryland’s largest arena. He also drove the school’s branding and licensing efforts, including a new logo.
Iowa Western Community College
Now in her 10th year as Iowa Western’s AD, Hampton has increased revenue, rejuvenated fundraising and expanded the department throughout her term. Hampton has added 15 sports, including football, and now leads a staff of more than 50. She has overseen the addition of football facilities and an outdoor track and field complex, and the expansion of other facilities.
Tyler Junior College
Drain is in his 13th year in athletics administration at the college, and his 10th as the school’s AD. Tyler Junior College has won 18 NJCAA national championships during Drain’s tenure. Outside of his school duties, Drain has been the tournament director for a number of NJCAA national championships.
Sliman has been the face of Carlow athletics since 1999, previously serving in part-time capacity as a volleyball coach. He revitalized the Student-Athlete Association and implemented “Champions of Character” training for all coaches and student athletes. He worked with university administrators to increase Carlow’s athletics budget threefold and created a dedicated fitness center strictly for student athletes.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
At the helm of Embry-Riddle athletics since 1993, Ridder has increased the school’s number of varsity sports from five to 17, and has grown the full-time staff from five to 41. In 2010-11, the Eagles won their 12th consecutive Sun Conference Commissioner’s Cup. In addition to his AD duties, Ridder is in his 23rd year as head basketball coach and has led the Eagles to the NAIA national tournament 12 times.
Nebraska Wesleyan University
In 13 years as AD, Zeff has built Nebraska Wesleyan into one of the top athletic programs in the Great Plains Athletic Conference. He has overseen the completion of the Woody Greeno Track at Abel Stadium, a new video replay board installation at Abel Stadium, and a floor resurfacing project at Knight Fieldhouse.
Parker is in his ninth year guiding Carroll College athletics. The college recently won its sixth NAIA national football championship and 12th straight Frontier Conference title. Parker has added four sports to the athletic program in the past three years, and has initiated enhancements to athletic facilities on campus.
University of Windsor
As AD at Windsor for nearly 10 years, Grace has helped bring the university to the forefront of Canadian university athletics. In 2011 alone, the Lancers won three Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships, which was the most of any university in Canada. Gold has developed a strategic plan for improved athletic facilities that has seen millions of dollars spent on improvements, including a multimillion-dollar multiuse outdoor stadium.