Division II conferences have selected a total of 45 finalists for the division’s 50th Anniversary Gold Award.
This award, which is part of the division’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration that launched Aug. 7 and will extend through the 2024 Division II Baseball Championship in June, will recognize two individuals (one individual who identifies as male and one who identifies as female) who have made a lasting and positive impact in Division II.
Conference offices reviewed the initial pool of 231 nominated individuals and each selected two honorees (one who identifies as male and one who identifies as female). The NCAA Division II Management Council Identity Subcommittee will review these finalists and select the two overall winners, who will be recognized at the 2024 NCAA Convention in Phoenix.
The conference honorees include current and former student-athletes, coaches, faculty members, commissioners and administrators who have helped shape Division II over time.
“Each of these finalists in their own way have made a significant impact on Division II,” said Terri Steeb Gronau, vice president of Division II. “And from a collective perspective, their commitment to Division II values in helping student-athletes get the most from their college experience is tremendous and has made us what we are today as a division. I couldn’t be prouder of this group, and it truly will be a challenge to select only two final recipients of the Gold Award.”
As part of the anniversary celebration, Division II also will provide a commemorative scholarship opportunity for student-athletes from active member schools who exhibit the core values of Division II and have not yet exhausted their athletics eligibility. Two recipients from each conference and two representing the independent institutions will be announced in May during the 2024 NCAA Division II National Championships Festival in Orlando, Florida. Nomination procedures for the scholarship will be announced to the Division II membership in January.
California Collegiate Athletic Association
Bob Hiegert, California Collegiate Athletic Association
Bob Hiegert was linked with the California Collegiate Athletic Association for more than 50 years as a student-athlete, coach, campus athletics administrator and conference commissioner. Hiegert played shortstop for the San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge) baseball team from 1959-63, earning the Matadors Athlete of the Year award to wrap up his final season. As a baseball coach, Hiegert won 609 games, six CCAA championships, five NCAA regional titles, and NCAA Division II championships in 1970 and 1984. Hiegert served as CSUN’s athletics director from 1978-95. He was named commissioner of the CCAA in 1997 and held that post until his retirement in 2013.
Violet Palmer, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Violet Palmer has ensured her name will stand in the basketball record books, both in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and the National Basketball Association. Palmer played for Cal Poly Pomona from 1982-86 and helped build the Broncos into a Division II powerhouse. As the starting point guard, she led the Broncos to back-to-back national championships (1985 and 1986), three regional titles and four CCAA regular-season championships. She finished her career in the top 10 in program history in steals, and the Broncos went 107-20 (45-2 vs. CCAA opponents) in her four seasons. Palmer carried her love for the game beyond her collegiate years, and on Oct. 31, 1997, she became the first woman to officiate in the NBA or any major professional sport in the United States when she officiated the NBA season opener between the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Dallas Mavericks. In 2006, Palmer also became the first woman to officiate an NBA playoff game. She officiated in the WNBA during its inaugural year and worked the WBNA Finals multiple times. She won the Naismith Award for Official of the Year in 1999 and officiated the 2014 NBA All-Star Game. She retired in 2016, having officiated 919 NBA games.
Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference
Bernadette Laukaitis, Holy Family University
Bernadette Laukaitis has a long-standing history at Holy Family as a student-athlete, coach and administrator. As a student-athlete, she was a three-year team captain and ranks fifth in program history with 247 steals and ninth with 372 assists. She began her coaching career at Holy Family as an assistant coach, helping lead the Tigers to five Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference titles in eight seasons. Holy Family advanced to the postseason every year, including three NAIA tournaments and the program’s first five NCAA tournaments. During those eight seasons, the Tigers went 234-27, including a 32-1 mark in 2007-08 when the team finished No. 4 nationally. Laukaitis returned to Holy family as its head coach in May 2019 and proceeded to lead the Tigers to the CACC tournament championship game her first year. The Tigers have gone 52-34 in her first three seasons, advancing to the CACC tournament semifinals twice. As an administrator, Laukaitis was promoted to assistant athletics director in July 2023 because of her dedication to student-athletes, including serving as advisor of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Tom Shirley, Thomas Jefferson University
Tom Shirley has the most victories of any NCAA Division II women’s basketball coach and is the 16th all-time winningest women’s basketball coach across all divisions. Shirley has served in various leadership roles within the NCAA. As a member of the Women’s Basketball Rules Committee, Shirley contributed to shaping the rules and regulations governing the sport, ensuring its fair and competitive nature. Additionally, Shirley has served on the NCAA Division II Management Council, Membership Committee, Championships Committee and various regional advisory committees. He has also made meaningful contributions through his service as a mentor for the Women and Minorities Mentoring Program, providing guidance and support to individuals pursuing careers in athletics. While serving as director of athletics at Jefferson, Shirley has seen the athletics program through a name change and an institutional merger in which he continued to provide a platform for student-athletes to perform on the field and in the classroom. Under Shirley’s leadership, Jefferson has received the NCAA Division II Presidents Award for academic excellence, given to schools that achieve a four-year Academic Success Rate of 90% or higher, every year but one since the award was first given in 2011.
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Jacqie McWilliams, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Jacqie McWilliams was named commissioner of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 2012, becoming the first female to serve as commissioner of the CIAA and the first appointed African American female commissioner in any NCAA division. McWilliams made an immediate impact, improving the conference’s financial bottom line by more than $2.1 million, launching a new CIAA logo design, and negotiating a six-year extension valued at $2.5 million annually with Charlotte, North Carolina, for the CIAA Basketball Tournament. McWilliams previously spent nine years at the NCAA national office managing NCAA championships, including both the Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. She started her career in coaching, compliance and administration at Virginia Union and worked at the CIAA, Norfolk State and Morgan State before the NCAA. McWilliams earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Hampton University and a Master of Arts in sports management and administration from Temple. She was two-sport athlete at Hampton and was a member of the school’s 1988 Division II Women’s Basketball Championship team. She also was the CIAA Volleyball Player of the Year in 1990. In her nearly 30 years in intercollegiate athletics, McWilliams has served on dozens of committees and boards, including as the president of Women Leaders in Sports and as a member of the NCAA Board of Governors.
Clarence “Big House” Gaines, Winston-Salem State University
Clarence “Big House” Gaines compiled a legendary basketball coaching career at Winston-Salem State that spanned from 1946 to 1993, and he currently ranks 15th among NCAA men’s basketball coaches with 828 wins. He enrolled at Morgan State in 1941 and received recognition as an All-America football player, while also participating on the basketball and track teams. Gaines graduated from Morgan State in 1945 with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. He became an assistant to fellow Morgan State graduate Brutus Wilson at then-Winston-Salem Teachers College, and when Wilson left for Shaw in 1946, Gaines became the head football and basketball coach, athletics director, athletic trainer and ticket manager. Gaines coached football from 1946-49 and was named the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year in 1948 after leading the Rams to an 8-1 season. Beginning in 1949, Gaines coached only basketball while also serving as the AD. In 1950, Gaines received his master’s degree in education from Columbia. Gaines, who died in 2005 at the age of 81, has received numerous awards and has been inducted into multiple halls of fame, including the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Brenda Cates, University of Mount Olive
With 41 years of service to Mount Olive and two decades as the school’s faculty athletics representative, Brenda Cates has shown undeniable dedication and service to student-athlete excellence. She is a math professor at Mount Olive and currently serves on the NCAA Division II Legislation Committee and the NCAA Division II Management Council. Cates was the first recipient of the Faculty Athletics Representatives Association FAR of the Year award for Division II in 2019 and was recognized for her service to the NCAA, Conference Carolinas and Mount Olive. In 2021, the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee honored Cates with the Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award, which recognizes faculty members at Division II schools for their dedication to supporting and mentoring student-athletes, as well as their commitment to Division II student-athletes’ lifelong learning, competition and well-being. Cates also serves as scorekeeper at the Mount Olive men’s and women’s basketball home games.
Dan Kenney, University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Dan Kenney led the men’s basketball program at UNC Pembroke to a 124-78 (.614) record from 1985-92. The Braves posted a then-school-record 27-5 campaign in 1990-91. He took over the reins as athletics director for the Braves in 1998, a role in which he would serve for 14 years. The Braves experienced an extraordinary period of athletics competition under Kenney’s watch, which included the addition of football, women’s soccer and women’s golf as varsity programs. UNC Pembroke teams qualified for the NCAA postseason on 21 occasions during Kenney’s tenure, with 50 student-athletes qualifying for individual championships, as well. Kenney, who spent 36 years in collegiate athletics, was inducted into the UNC Pembroke Athletics Hall of Fame in October.
East Coast Conference
Robert Dranoff, East Coast Conference
Robert Dranoff has served as commissioner of the East Coast Conference since June 2008. His career in athletics began in 1978 where he served as assistant director of athletics at St. John’s (New York) before becoming the athletics director at Old Westbury, followed by a stint at Dowling College, where he was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame. Under Dranoff’s leadership, the ECC has added championships in a number of sports, including men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, women’s bowling, and esports. The conference has been recognized for its support of Team IMPACT, Make-A-Wish and Special Olympics. Dranoff also is known for championing diversity and equity, having organized a conference town hall on social justice during the national unrest related to the murder of George Floyd. He also ensures that conference members annually engage with the RISE organization, a nonprofit that works to empower the sports community to fight discrimination. Half of the ADs in the conference are female, and all senior woman administrators are actively involved in conference leadership roles. His Division II committee service includes having been a member of the Championships Committee and the Management Council.
Susan Cassidy-Lyke, Molloy University
Susan Cassidy-Lyke, a 1986 graduate of Molloy, returned to her alma mater as the director of athletics in January 2006. Since her appointment, Cassidy-Lyke has overseen unprecedented athletics and academic success, highlighted by the addition of eight programs. Molloy teams have won 19 conference championships and four NCAA regional championships and have appeared in 23 NCAA tournaments. Cassidy-Lyke currently serves on the Division II Athletics Directors Association board of directors. Cassidy-Lyke also is entering her 19th season as head softball coach, with a record of 519-393-1. Under her coaching, the Lions have won three NCAA East regional championships and four East Coast Conference championships. Cassidy-Lyke, a two-sport athlete at Molloy, was inducted into the Lions Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. On the softball field, she averaged over .400 in back-to-back seasons and boasted one of the best batting averages in Division II as a senior. The two-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American also was inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 2002. Cassidy-Lyke graduated from Molloy summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business management before continuing her education at John Jay, where she earned a master’s degree in criminal justice. Upon graduation, she joined the New York City Police Academy, eventually being promoted to captain in 2003.
Great American Conference
Kevin Rodgers, Henderson State University
Kevin Rodgers was a three-time Division II All-American at quarterback for Henderson State, where he played from 2011-14. Going into the 2023 season, he was ranked seventh all-time in NCAA Division II history with 124 career touchdown passes and sixth all-time with 13,678 career passing yards. A three-time Harlon Hill Trophy finalist, Rodgers became just the sixth Division II player in history to pass for more than 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons (2012 and 2013). His individual success translated to team success, as Henderson State compiled a record of 36-8, won 28 consecutive Great American Conference games, claimed league titles in 2012 and 2013, and made two appearances in the NCAA Division II Football Championship. Rodgers graduated magna cum laude with a degree in business administration. He was inducted into the Henderson State Athletics Hall of Honor in 2019 in his first year on the ballot. Based on a nationwide vote, Rodgers was named captain of the 2013 American Football Coaches Association Allstate Good Works Team, an honor recognizing football players at all levels of play for their inspiring acts of service and the impact they have on their communities and the lives of others. He was also one of just 17 recipients of a 2013 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award, which came with an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.
Hailey Tucker, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Hailey Tucker became the first four-time first-team All-Great American Conference selection in conference history and was twice named the Great American Player of the Year in basketball. She graduated with 2,360 career points, which is the most in conference history and ranks second in school history. As a senior, she averaged 18.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game while leading the Lady Bulldogs to a second consecutive Great American regular-season championship, the conference tournament championship and the program’s first Central Region championship. Tucker was one of nine NCAA Woman of the Year finalists in 2019. She was named a second-team Academic All-American as a senior, and she graduated with a 3.91 grade-point average, majoring in mass communications with a minor in sports management. Tucker began preparing for a career in sports broadcasting by working as the sideline reporter for Bulldog football games and volunteering as a content specialist for Southwestern Oklahoma State athletics. She currently is a chief investigative reporter and anchor for KWCH 12 News in Wichita, Kansas.
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Tim Selgo, Grand Valley State University
Tim Selgo was the director of athletics at Grand Valley State from 1996-2016 and developed the Lakers into a powerhouse program in NCAA Division II. Grand Valley State finished among the top two in the Learfield Sports/NACDA Directors’ Cup standings for 15 consecutive years under Selgo’s watch, including 11 titles (2004-11 and 2014-16), and captured 19 NCAA Division II national championships and more than 70 regional championships. Selgo was active in Division II governance, having chaired the Division II Management Council in 2012. He was president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 2015-16. Selgo was named the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Division II AD of the Year three times (2003, 2007 and 2013). Before serving at Grand Valley State, Selgo spent 11 years at Toledo as head women’s basketball coach (1985-88) and as an associate director of athletics (1988-96). Selgo was a four-year letterwinner in basketball at Toledo as a guard from 1976-80, and as a senior co-captain on the 1979-80 team, he hit 48-of-52 free throws (.923), a mark that stood for more than 20 years. He has been inducted into the athletics halls of fame at both Toledo and Grand Valley State.
Kris Dunbar, Lake Superior State University
Kris Dunbar began her term as the seventh commissioner of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on May 1, 2017, after more than 20 years at Lake Superior State, including as a student-athlete, basketball coach and director of athletics. Dunbar, who was inducted into the Lake Superior State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016, was a four-year starting guard for the Lakers and a three-time co-captain. She finished her playing career with 812 points, 278 rebounds and 221 assists. Dunbar continued her influence in women’s basketball when she was named head coach in 1998 and went on to become the winningest coach in program history with an overall record of 154-72. She was twice named the GLIAC Coach of the Year (2002 and 2005) and won two straight conference tournament titles in 2003 and 2004. She served as Lake Superior State’s director of athletics for 10 years after that. Dunbar spent five years on the Division II Management Council (2011-15) and served on the Division II Championships Committee. As commissioner, Dunbar has guided the GLIAC through significant membership and strategic plan enhancements, including the addition of FloSports as a league-wide streaming partner.
Great Lakes Valley Conference
Jim Naumovich, Great Lakes Valley Conference
Jim Naumovich is in his 23rd year as Great Lakes Valley Conference commissioner, the second-longest tenure among current Division II commissioners. Under his watch, the conference has added eight sports, including football, and 12 member institutions. He has overseen the creation of the GLVC Sports Network, the first digital platform of its kind at the Division II level, and he organized the inaugural Midwest Region Crossover Volleyball Tournament in 2008, which was the first, and currently the largest, NCAA intraregional volleyball tournament in the country. Naumovich, who was president of the Division II Conference Commissioners Association for three years, also served on the Division II Management Council and Division II Championships Committee and was vice chair of the Division II Academic Requirements Committee. Naumovich also has been an executive mentor for the NCAA Pathways Program and an external mentor for the NCAA internship program, as well as a panelist for the NCAA Career in Sports Forum. He currently serves as the tournament director for the Division II Men’s Basketball Elite Eight in Evansville, Indiana. Before his appointment as GLVC commissioner, Naumovich worked at Quincy for 15 years, including as athletics director from 1992-2000.
Sue Willey, University of Indianapolis
Sue Willey spent 45 years in athletics at UIndy as a student-athlete, coach and administrator before retiring at the end of the 2019-20 academic year. She spent the last 17 years of her career as vice president for intercollegiate athletics. She was an associate professor of health and physical education at UIndy and taught in the department of kinesiology for nearly three decades, with a special teaching interest in sport ethics. A 1993 inductee into the UIndy Athletics Hall of Fame, Willey earned 19 letters and 11 MVP awards in her four-year career and was the Female Athlete of the Year from 1972-75. She began her coaching career at her alma mater after graduating cum laude in 1975. Over 23 years, she directed 43 teams in five sports. She was the GLVC Softball Coach of the Year in 1989, and her softball teams earned national academic honors in 1996 and 1997. Under her leadership as the athletics director, the number of varsity teams increased to 23, and the total number of student-athletes grew to nearly 700. Willey chaired the Division II Management Council in 2004 and the Division II Championships Committee in 2019-20, and she served on the Division II Membership Committee and the Division II Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee, among several others. A tireless advocate and champion of women in athletics, Willey was selected as the 2005 Division II Administrator of the Year by Women Leaders in Sports and was named the Division II Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 2009-10 and 2012-13.
Great Midwest Athletic Conference
Kari Pickens, Ashland University
Kari Pickens is beginning the 2023-24 academic year as the second-winningest NCAA women’s basketball coach all-time in terms of winning percentage. In her first five seasons as head coach at Ashland, she has guided the Eagles to a 142-15 record, one NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship, four conference tournament titles, three conference regular-season championships and five NCAA Division II tournament berths. In 2022-23, Pickens led Ashland to a 37-0 record and a Division II national title. The national championship makes Pickens the only woman in Division II history to win a title as a player, assistant coach and head coach, and just the second woman in NCAA history to do so, along with Kim Mulkey. After the season, Pickens was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division II Coach of the Year, becoming the first woman to earn both WBCA Coach of the Year and Player of the Year honors, and the first coach in any NCAA division to be both WBCA Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year. A former student-athlete at Ashland, Pickens still ranks 12th on Ashland’s all-time scoring list (1,414 points), despite playing just two seasons in the program. During the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, in which Ashland was the national runner-up and won its first national championship, Pickens recorded 1,414 points and 903 rebounds, seventh and fourth most all-time at Ashland, respectively. She holds the Division II women’s basketball record for most consecutive games with a double-double in a career (34) and still claims Eagle program records for single-game rebounds (24), single-season points (744), single-season rebounds (492), single-season rebounding average (14.1) and career scoring average (21.8).
Roy Pickerill, Kentucky Wesleyan College
Roy Pickerill has been the face of Kentucky Wesleyan athletics public relations for nearly 30 years. He is also a national leader in the collegiate sports information industry. Currently, he is in his seventh year as sports information director emeritus and 52nd overall with Kentucky Wesleyan after retiring as the longest tenured SID in school history. The Great Lakes Valley Conference enshrined him into its Hall of Fame in 2018 and presented him with the Thomas Kearns Distinguished Service Award in 2014. He served as the conference’s publicity director from 1980 to 1983. Pickerill has earned several national awards over his distinguished career. His peers in the College Sports Information Directors of America inducted him into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame in 1999, becoming the first SID from Kentucky to be inducted. Pickerill also received CoSIDA’s prestigious Warren Berg Award in 1998, an award that is presented annually to a college division member who has made outstanding contributions to the field of sports information. Pickerill served as the first president of the Division II Sports Information Directors Association from 2006-2009, and he was honored as the inaugural recipient of the Roy Pickerill Distinguished Service Award in 2022. His athletics publications have won 30 CoSIDA awards, including 20 “Best in the Nation” distinctions. In addition, Pickerill received awards for publications from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Public Relations Society of America. Kentucky Wesleyan inducted Pickerill into its Alumni Hall of Fame in 2012, as well as the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015. He currently serves as the Kentucky Wesleyan Hall of Fame Committee chair.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Jessica Pixler Tebo, Seattle Pacific University
The success Jessica Pixler Tebo achieved while at Seattle Pacific from 2006-10 made her the most highly decorated student-athlete in school history. She won 12 NCAA Division II Championships: three in cross country, six in indoor track and three in outdoor track. She also won 19 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships: four in cross country, nine in indoor track and six in outdoor track. Pixler Tebo was named a four-time cross country All-American, in addition to receiving All-West Region and All-GNAC honors. She was also the national female track athlete of the year, four-time Seattle Pacific Athlete of the Year and a nominee for the prestigious Honda Award. Her athletic abilities, combined with academic achievement, led to numerous honors. She received an NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship, was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year and an Academic All-American. In addition to her legendary success as a Division II student-athlete, she was a finalist in the 5,000 meters at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Track & Field Trials.
Travis Connell, Western Washington University
Women’s soccer head coach Travis Connell, one of the most successful coaches in Great Northwest Athletic Conference history, has led Western Washington to two NCAA Division II national titles (2016 and 2022). His unprecedented success, which includes two national runner-up finishes, was further evidenced by reaching the 400-win plateau in 2023, making him the winningest women’s soccer coach in the conference’s history. Over his 20-year tenure as head coach of the Vikings, Connell has led the program to a 297-80-37 (.762) record, with 12 appearances in the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Championships (10 straight). The school has recorded 19 consecutive winning seasons during this stretch, dating back to 2004. Additionally, the program has competed in the NCAA Division II West Regional final in nine of the last 10 seasons and made five trips to the NCAA Division II National Championship Final Four. In 2019, the Vikings played for the national title, losing a 1-0 overtime contest to Grand Valley State (the team Western Washington beat in 2016 to win the title). In addition to his coaching prowess, Connell had similar success as a player at fellow conference member Seattle Pacific. Connell was a member of the 1993 national championship Falcons team, giving him three total NCAA titles throughout his career as both a player and coach.
Gulf South Conference
Erin Hederman, Mississippi College
Erin Hederman is a decorated current women’s soccer student-athlete at Mississippi College. She’s earned a spot on the Gulf South Conference Top 10 list, D2 Conference Commissioners Association All-America honors during the 2022 season on the pitch and is a two-time All-Region selection (D2 CCA and United Soccer Coaches). She grabbed All-GSC first-team laurels prior to her postseason accolades. She also helped lead the Lady Choctaw to a conference tournament title and was named the Most Outstanding Player. In the classroom, she earned United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-American honors while also being named to the GSC All-Academic Team, the conference’s academic honor roll and Mississippi College’s fall 2022 President’s List. The Honors College student also belongs to several honor societies on campus, including Mortar Board, Phi Epsilon Kappa and Alpha Chi. Hederman serves her community as well, as she has volunteered for the Salvation Army; Caring Hands; Brookdale, an assisted living community; and Stewpot. She also volunteered her time on campus, working with the kinesiology department as it hosted the Hap Hudson 5K and serving as the campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president in 2022-23. As SAAC president, Hederman created Choctaw Sports Night, formerly named the SAAC Banquet. Choctaw Sports Night has become a banquet planned, organized and executed by student-athletes to celebrate the accomplishments of student-athletes.
Herb Reinhard, Valdosta State University
Herb Reinhard has been the athletics director at Valdosta State for over 31 years. He began his tenure in January 1992 and will retire from the university in June 2024. Described as a legendary athletics director, Reinhard has been at the helm of the Blazers for 48 of the school’s 52 Gulf South Conference championships and seven of the school’s eight national titles, including four titles in football, the most recent in 2018. He is credited with expanding women’s athletics at Valdosta State, including the restart of the volleyball program in 1995 and the addition of women’s soccer in 2011. He is the longest tenured athletics director in the conference and has seen countless student-athletes graduate and go on to outstanding achievements, both professionally and personally. Reinhard has served on numerous NCAA committees, including six years on the NCAA Division II Management Council. He also was president of the NCAA Division II Membership Committee. Reinhard also has had a keen eye for hiring outstanding coaches, including men’s basketball head coach Mike Helfer, who begins his 19th season at the helm of the Valdosta State program this year, and softball coach Thomas Macera, who also is beginning his 19th season.
Lone Star Conference
Steve Gomez, Lubbock Christian University
In 20 seasons as the Lubbock Christian women’s basketball coach, Steve Gomez has amassed 500 victories and a 24-3 record in NCAA postseason play, including a trio of NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championships. Gomez began his coaching career at the high school level before taking over the Lady Chaps in 2003. The school was a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics member at the time, and the Lady Chaps advanced to the national tournament every year. Lubbock Christian began the reclassification process to NCAA Division II in 2013, and the winning tradition continued. Gomez’s Lady Chaps went 25-1 overall in 2013-14 and 21-7 the next year. In the school’s first year of active Division II membership in 2015-16, the Lady Chaps went 35-0 and won the Division II title. The Lady Chaps are winners off the court, as well, as Gomez’s teams consistently rank among the elite in grade-point average. Gomez also has been actively involved in the local community and nationally in the basketball community, having served on the coaching staff of Team USA. A Lubbock Christian graduate with a B.S. in mathematics, Gomez was a standout perimeter player for head coach John Copeland in the late 1980s, and his career free-throw percentage of .855 still stands as a school record.
Jo Kuhn, Texas Woman’s University
Jo Kuhn became the director of athletics at Texas Woman’s University in 1982, taking over a program that lacked funding and support. In 1988, she succeeded in lobbying for and gaining the school’s admission into the Lone Star Conference by a unanimous vote, making the university the only women’s institution in the nation in a coed conference. Another career highlight also came in 1988 when Kuhn championed legislation at the NCAA Convention allowing Division II institutions to conduct tryouts of prospective student-athletes on their campus. Under Kuhn’s leadership, Texas Woman’s University student-athletes began the streak of maintaining a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, which has now lasted for more than 40 years. She also established the Pioneer Club Campaign, which distributed more than $900,000 in athletics aid to Texas Woman’s University student-athletes from 1984-2002. Kuhn left the position in 1992 to return to teaching and eventually retired from the school in 1997. In that same year, she was inducted into the Texas Woman’s University Pioneer Hall of Fame, and in 2002 Kuhn was selected as a Lone Star Conference Hall of Honor inductee. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from NACWAA, now Women Leaders in Sports; a Hall of Fame Award from the National Association for Sport and Physical Education; and the Pathfinder Award for Texas from the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport.
Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association
Sallie Beard, Missouri Southern State University
Sallie Beard served as both coach and athletics director at Missouri Southern State for 37 years. She created women’s athletics there when she started and coached the first women’s basketball, softball and tennis teams in 1974. Two years later, she added the women’s track and field program. Beard served as the women’s athletics director for 25 years before being named the AD for both the men’s and women’s programs in 2001, making her the first woman in the MIAA to serve in that capacity. Under her direction, Missouri Southern State athletes consistently ranked among the academic leaders in the MIAA. Nationally, Beard served on numerous NCAA Division II committees, including the Management Council, as well as on the Association-wide Committee on Women’s Athletics. From 1999 to 2001, she served as MIAA president, the first athletics director to be chosen for that position. Beard was inducted into the MIAA Hall of Fame in 2010 (inaugural class) and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. In 2014, she received the Nike Lifetime Achievement Award from Women Leaders in Sports.
Jerry Hughes, University of Central Missouri
Jerry Hughes served as Central Missouri’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics from 1983 until his death in January 2023. Under his leadership, Central Missouri won 179 Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championships and 10 national championships, in addition to having 50 other top-four NCAA finishes and making more than 300 NCAA postseason appearances. In addition to his success directing athletics at Central Missouri, Hughes held multiple leadership positions in Division II governance, including serving on the NCAA Executive Committee (when that body oversaw all three divisions) and as chair of the Division II Championships Committee. He also served a term as NCAA vice president of Division II and was a member of the NCAA Council (both before the NCAA federated its governance structure in 1997), making him the only person to twice hold the highest-ranking office available to athletics administrators in Division II. After federation, Hughes chaired the Division II Management Council. Hughes was most recently honored with the CCA Award of Merit, the highest honor presented by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association. Hughes graduated from Central Missouri in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, having lettered in golf during his undergraduate studies, and he received his master’s degree in secondary school administration from the university in 1979. He joined Central Missouri that same year as a business placement director and became assistant athletics director in July 1981. He was named athletics director in January 1983.
Mountain East Conference
Bren Stevens, University of Charleston (West Virginia)
Bren Stevens’ impact in Division II spans multiple decades and has been rooted in the success of student-athletes, coaches and administrators. After a storied career as the head volleyball coach at Charleston, Stevens was named the director of athletics in 2012. Since then, the student-athlete population at the university has doubled, and numerous athletics programs have been added. The Golden Eagles have had 76 teams advance to the NCAA postseason, with multiple programs advancing to regional and/or national finals, and two have won national titles. In 2022, Stevens was recognized by the Division II Athletics Directors Association as Athletics Director of the Year, and she has been actively involved in the ADA mentoring program. She also earned recognition as Nike Executive of the Year from Women Leaders in Sports. Her NCAA Division II committee service includes having been vice chair of the Management Council and being a member of the Planning and Finance and Championships Committees. Stevens also has served on the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports. Stevens was a highly decorated four-sport student-athlete during her time at the University of Charleston, which was known as Morris Harvey College when she started, and she was inducted into Charleston’s Hall of Fame in 2006.
Reid Amos, Mountain East Conference
Reid Amos was appointed in November 2012 to serve as commissioner of the new MEC. From the start of conference competition in 2013 through the 2022-23 school year, MEC teams had won six NCAA team national championships, played in 13 NCAA championship games and claimed 42 regional championships. The league has also produced 10 Elite 90 award winners. Amos, who recently completed a term as chair of the Division II Championships Committee, also has chaired the Division II Football Committee and the Division II Men’s Golf Committee. In addition, Amos is active within the Division II Conference Commissioners Association, having recently been appointed to serve as second vice president. He also has chaired the D2CCA sport administration committee and the external relations committee. Amos also is a member of the NCAA’s Officiating Steering Committee, which serves all three divisions. Before becoming MEC commissioner, Amos was the vice president of broadcasting at West Liberty University, having been promoted to that role after a successful stint as the executive director for the West Liberty office of communications. Amos was also a successful men’s golf coach at Fairmont State from 2003-07, leading the Falcons to a pair of West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships, five consecutive NCAA Division II regional tournament bids and the 2007 NCAA Division II East region championship. Amos graduated from Fairmont State in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in speech communication, and he earned his master’s degree in communications from West Virginia in 1996.
Barbara Stevens, Bentley University
Barbara Stevens, the Bentley women’s basketball head coach from 1986-2020 and a 2020 inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, is the fourth-winningest coach in NCAA history. Stevens retired from a 44-year coaching career with a 1,058-291 record, including 901-200 during her 34 Bentley seasons, 31 NCAA Division II tournament appearances, 14 Elite Eights and 38 Northeast-10 championships (21 regular season, 17 tournament). In March 2014, Stevens led her team to the national championship. The Falcons capped a magnificent 35-0 season with a remarkable comeback against West Texas A&M. Stevens was recognized as the Russell/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division II National Coach of the Year an unprecedented five times and earned the Northeast-10 Coach of the Year award 16 times. While she has 1,058 career victories, no other coach in Division II women’s basketball history has as many as 850. Stevens has made her mark away from the court, as well. She is the only Division II coach to ever serve as president of the WBCA, a position she held during 1994-95. In 2022, Stevens received the Dream Big! Inspirational Leader Award. In addition to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Stevens has been inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, as well as the Northeast-10, Bentley, Clark and Bridgewater State halls. In 2002, Stevens was presented with the prestigious Carol Eckman Award from the WBCA. In 2022, Stevens was awarded an honorary doctorate in public education by her alma mater and spoke at the Bridgewater State commencement.
James Barber, Southern Connecticut State University
James Barber gave 58 years of dedicated service to Southern Connecticut State and crafted a legacy of change, using his career to advance inclusivity and access at the institution. A record-setting hurdler as a student-athlete in the early 1960s, and captain and Most Valuable Player of the football team, Barber went on to become a successful Owls coach for almost 25 years, training numerous track champions and 75 All-Americans. In 1971, Barber launched the Southern Educational Opportunity Program, which over time opened the door to a college degree for scores of minority students. He also led the university’s affirmative action office, served as director of student supportive services for more than 20 years and, in his last professional role at the school, helped to advance the university’s mission as director of community engagement. A committed community activist, he founded New Haven’s track and field outreach program for young people, working with more than 4,000 youths over the years. Additionally, he has served as president and a longtime board member of the New Haven Scholarship Fund. On the international athletic scene, he was head coach of the U.S. team for the International Association of Athletics Federation World Cup Meet and the U.S. team at the World Indoor Championships, as well as U.S. Olympic Festivals. He helped found the United States Track Coaches Association and was named Indoor Regional Coach of the Year in 2002. He received the 2000 Service Award for Colleges and Universities from the U.S. Women’s Track Coaches Association and was inducted into Southern Connecticut’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2016, Barber was recognized by the SCSU Alumni Association with its Distinguished Alumnus Award and received the President’s Medal of Distinction six years later.
Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
Karen Stromme, University of Minnesota Duluth
Karen Stromme spent her nearly 40-year career in the Minnesota Duluth athletics department making a difference before retiring as senior associate athletics director and senior woman administrator in 2022. The winningest coach in Bulldog basketball history, Stromme spent 21 seasons directing the women’s program before taking on a full-time administrative position in 2005. Stromme compiled a 440-184 overall record (.705) and posted 21 consecutive winning seasons while also guiding the Bulldogs to 12 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference titles and eight NCAA II North Central Regional appearances. She also coached the women’s golf program at Minnesota Duluth for three years. Her administrative career includes having been the interim athletics director in 2013 and the advisor for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Stromme was instrumental in the Bulldogs being recognized with the 2022 NCAA Division II Award of Excellence. In 2019, Stromme received the NCAA Division II Women Leaders in Sports Administrator of the Year award. Stromme’s extensive NCAA committee service includes having chaired the Division II Management Council from January 2014 to January 2016 and serving as a member of the Division II Committee on Infractions, the Division II Membership Committee and the Division II Women’s Basketball Committee. Stromme also was the administrative liaison to the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Butch Raymond, Southwest Minnesota State University
Butch Raymond has been associated with the NCAA for more than 40 years. He was a head men’s basketball coach in Division II for 24 seasons, an athletics director for seven years and commissioner for 10 more. During his seven seasons as director of athletics at Southwest Minnesota State, Mustang teams won 11 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference championships, and the 2001 men’s basketball team captured the North Central Region title and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in school history. Raymond was a major factor in helping Southwest Minnesota State transition from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to the NCAA in 1996. Once hired at Southwest Minnesota State in 1997, he developed several fundraising programs to help the school compete at the NCAA level. When Raymond began his duties in 2004 as the commissioner of the NSIC, the league consisted of eight schools, but Raymond helped double that number over the next decade. Under Raymond’s leadership, the NSIC won 13 team national championships and crowned 36 individual national champions. Raymond also served on various national committees over the years, including as chair of the Division II Conference Commissioners Association, vice chair of the Division II Management Council, and chair of the Division II Men’s Basketball Committee.
Pacific West Conference
Bob Hogue, Pacific West Conference
Bob Hogue became the PacWest’s first full-time commissioner at a critical juncture in the conference’s history in the summer of 2007 and held the position until his retirement last summer. When Hogue began, the conference had only five active NCAA Division II members and seven schools total, covering a geographical area from Hawaii to California, Utah and Arizona. After his first year, he successfully petitioned the NCAA to reinstate the PacWest’s automatic qualifiers for postseason play. Within five years, he led the effort to double the size of the conference to 14 schools to make it the largest Division II conference in the West Region. He helped the conference add five sports to the conference championships program, going from 10 conference sports to 15. During his tenure, PacWest teams won six NCAA Division II national championships and were national finalists an additional 13 times. Twenty PacWest teams won an NCAA Division II West Region title, and three times a PacWest athletics program was the NCAA Division II Directors’ Cup champion. The PacWest currently has 11 competing schools, with future commitments pushing that number to 14 by 2024.
Peach Belt Conference
Mary Lisko, Augusta University
Mary Lisko served as Augusta University’s faculty athletics representative for 17 years. She retired in 2006 after a 29-year tenure with the university, ending her career as the assistant dean of the Hull College of Business and director of student support and advising. Lisko served on or chaired several NCAA committees, including the Academic Requirements Committee (chair) from 1996-2002, which at the time encompassed all three NCAA divisions. Additionally, she served on the Initial-Eligibility Committee, the NCAA Clearinghouse (now the NCAA Eligibility Center) Committee, the Initial-Eligibility and Waiver Subcommittees, the Division I Academic Standards Review Committee and the Academic Standards Taskforce Review. She also served as the vice president of the Faculty Athletics Representative Association and served on several institutional committees. During her time as a professor, she taught accounting, finance, marketing, income tax, microeconomics, auditing, logistics and advertising classes.
Dave Brunk, Peach Belt Conference
Dave Brunk’s career in athletics spans more than 40 years. After working at the NCAA national office for eight years, Brunk became the first full-time commissioner of the Northeast-10 Conference in 1998 and is now in his 17th year as commissioner of the Peach Belt Conference. With the Peach Belt, Brunk established a successful corporate partner program, expanded championship sport offerings from 12 to 18 and ushered in two new schools to the NCAA Division II ranks. The Peach Belt was the first conference at any level to hold an esports championship, the first to begin bat testing in softball and baseball before they became NCAA requirements, and the first to begin conferencewide video streaming in 2010. The Peach Belt also was the first Division II conference to enter into a women’s basketball officiating consortium with a Division I Power Five conference and the first to partner with Battlefields to Ballfields, giving veterans and active-duty military personnel a gateway into officiating. Brunk’s commitment to student-athletes both during their playing career and beyond led to the creation of the Women in Athletics Seminar and the PBC Career Forum. Brunk’s NCAA committee service includes having chaired the Division II Management Council and the Nominating and Membership Committees, and he served on more than 10 other NCAA committees and subcommittees. He has also been president of the Division II Conference Commissioners Association.
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
Jan Hutchinson, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Jan Hutchinson spent 33 years as the Huskies coach in field hockey and softball and produced dominant programs in each sport. In field hockey, she coached the program to 16 national championships and 16 conference titles, while as softball coach she is the NCAA Division II all-time leader in career wins and made an NCAA-record 28 consecutive trips to the Division II championship. She is the winningest college coach in any division, with 1,806 combined wins between the two sports. Hutchinson’s field hockey squads posted winning records in 31 of her 32 seasons and amassed an overall record of 591-75-20, for a winning percentage of .872. She is the winningest coach in NCAA field hockey history and is the only coach with more than 500 victories. In softball, her Bloomsburg teams advanced to the championship round 10 times, twice finishing as the national runner-up, with losses each time in extra innings in the national title game. Hutchinson has been inducted into both the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association halls of fame. A 1971 graduate of East Stroudsburg, Hutchinson also earned a master’s degree in education from the school in 1979. Prior to coming to Bloomsburg, she initiated the women’s physical education program at Blair Academy and served as head coach for field hockey, basketball and softball.
Pat Pecora, University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown
Pat Pecora was a four-year starter, an all-conference wrestler and the team captain at West Liberty State (now West Liberty University) before being hired as head wrestling coach at Pittsburgh-Johnstown in 1976. In 2008, he added duties as the director of athletics. Pecora is the winningest coach in collegiate wrestling history, accumulating a 646-152-5 overall record and a .805 career winning percentage. His teams captured 21 NCAA regional titles and won national championships in 1996 and 1999. Pecora has coached 141 All-Americans and 10 individual national champions, who combined for 17 titles. Additionally, Pecora’s teams led the nation in National Wrestling Coaches Association Academic All-America selections from 1997 through 2000. Since 1990, Pecora has coached more than 100 Academic All-Americans. He was named the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year four times, most recently in 2022. He also received the National Wrestling Coaches Association Coaching Excellence Award, presented to the best coach in all divisions, in 1999. A member of several halls of fame, Pecora also received the 2008 United States Marine Corps Excellence in Leadership Award.
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference
Joel Smith, Chadron State College
Joel Smith, who served as commissioner of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference for 12 years, is currently the sixth athletics director in Chadron State history. Since his arrival, he has boosted athletics scholarships, using corporate sponsorships and private contributions while adding several new positions to the athletics department staff, including the school’s first full-time strength and conditioning coach. As conference commissioner, Smith was instrumental in securing championship sites for the RMAC Basketball Shootout, negotiated live television coverage of RMAC basketball championship games, developed a strategic plan for the conference and established committees to help with governance policies. Smith has been active within the NCAA, serving on the regional advisory committees for football, baseball and men’s basketball and serving as a member of the Division II Championships Committee. Additionally, Smith served as the vice president of the Division II Collegiate Commissioners Association. Prior to his stint at the RMAC, Smith was the athletics director at Fort Lewis College from 1996-2001. Smith also worked as the director of athletics development and assistant athletics director at Metropolitan State University of Denver from 1985-96 and is a member of that school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
Barb Schroeder, Regis University (Colorado)
Barb Schroeder began her athletics career as the women’s basketball head coach at Regis (Colorado) from 1981-90, leading the Rangers to a 134-118 record, with NAIA postseason appearances in 1982 and 1984. Schroeder then stepped into an administrative role, first serving as associate director of athletics from 1987-95 before becoming the athletics director from 1995-2010. During her decades as an administrator and coach, she served on many national committees and received several accolades. She was president of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (now Women Leaders in Sports), a member of the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Committee and chair of the NCAA Division II Championships Committee from 1998-2000. She was instrumental in the development of the Division II National Championships Festivals, the first of which was conducted in 2004. During her tenure as an administrator, she collected awards such as Regis Administrator of the Year, an honor she was awarded on two occasions, the 1998 NACWAA District VI Administrator of the Year and the 2005 General Sports Turf Systems NCAA DII West Region Athletic Director of the Year.
South Atlantic Conference
Eliane Kebbe, South Atlantic Conference
Eliane Kebbe was at the SAC from 2009-21, overseeing the conference’s compliance services, sport services and championships, while also serving as the SAC’s senior woman administrator and leading the league’s SWAs and Student-Athlete Advisory Committees. She was instrumental in enhancing the SAC championships, modeling each conference championship after the NCAA regional tournaments; implementing compliance reviews for each institution every four years, making sure that proper NCAA and SAC policies and protocols were being upheld at each institution; and elevating the SWA role on each campus, providing more leadership and engagement opportunities for SWAs. Prior to joining the SAC, Kebbe was the director of athletics at Belmont Abbey College from 1997 to 2007. Under her guidance, Belmont Abbey won two Joby Hawn Cups, the trophy presented to the best all-around athletics program in Conference Carolinas, and increased sports sponsorship from 12 to 16 varsity sports. Kebbe led the Belmont Abbey women’s basketball team as head coach from 1986 to 2001, earning six national tournament berths. She is the winningest basketball coach in Belmont Abbey history, with a record of 315-110. In addition to her commitment and service to the South Atlantic Conference, Kebbe has served on several NCAA committees, including two terms as chair of the Division II Women’s Basketball Committee and serving on the Division II Legislation Committee.
Steve Poston, Wingate University
Steve Poston has been a part of Wingate for more than 50 years, serving as the director of athletics for the last 21 years of his career before retiring at the end of 2021. A member of the Wingate University Sports Hall of Fame, Poston helped transform Wingate into a premier Division II athletics program while always reminding his coaches that their primary focus was educating student-athletes. During Poston’s tenure as vice president and AD, the Bulldogs won 13 consecutive South Atlantic Conference Excellence Cups, the most in league history. Wingate also leads the conference in SAC titles, SAC Scholar-Athletes, Academic All-America honorees and Coaches of the Year during his tenure, while winning the only two team national titles in SAC history (men’s soccer in 2016 and baseball in 2021). Poston helped Wingate add nine sports, two turf fields and a new track. He also helped the school start a game day administrator program so coaching staffs could concentrate on coaching and not worry about various game-day duties. Poston’s NCAA committee service includes stints on the Division II Management Council, the Walter Byers Scholarship Committee, and the Division II Legislation and Nominating Committees, among others. Poston received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during Wingate’s 2021 commencement exercises.
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Robert Skinner, Albany State University (Georgia)
With nearly 600 collegiate basketball victories during a 43-year coaching career that includes 32 seasons at Albany State (Georgia), women’s basketball head coach Robert Skinner is one of the most respected coaches in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Skinner took over the helm of the women’s basketball program in 1991. Before coming to Albany State (Georgia), Skinner was at Paine College, where he served as head coach for 11 years (1980-91). In his first year as head coach at Albany State (Georgia), the team finished with a 20-9 overall record. He led the Golden Rams to multiple SIAC championships and coached volleyball and softball to victory as well. Beyond his coaching success, his gratitude for family and community support reflects his character. His involvement with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Committee highlights his commitment to the sport and has helped solidify his legacy.
Destinee Langston, Savannah State University
Destinee Langston has demonstrated excellence both on and off the volleyball court. As a four-year member of the Lady Tigers volleyball team, she leads in kills and service aces and is second in digs, earning her a spot on the 2023 conference Preseason Honors First Team. Beyond her position on the team, Langston is an active member of the Savannah State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and excels academically, pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an accounting concentration. Her internship at Lucas & Associates CPAs and receipt of the Dean’s Merit-Based Scholarship further underscores her dedication to success both on and off the court, making her a shining example of a successful student-athlete.
Sunshine State Conference
Hal Smeltzly, Florida Southern College
Hal Smeltzly first stepped on the Florida Southern campus in 1950 as a student and spent the next five-plus decades serving his alma mater. After playing baseball and basketball for the Moccasins, Smeltzly signed a professional baseball contract and was drafted into the United States Army in 1953. Following his military service, Smeltzly returned to the baseball diamond and continued his education at Florida Southern, graduating in 1957. He was hired as the head baseball coach in 1958 and built the Mocs into a perennial national powerhouse. Smeltzly led the Moccasins to NCAA Division II National Championships in 1971, 1972 and 1975, as well as six regional titles. After retiring from coaching in 1976, he would go on to serve as the director of athletics from 1978-2000. Under his guidance, the Moccasins claimed 22 national championships and finished as high as fourth in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings on two occasions. Smeltzly also was instrumental in adding women’s athletics to the college in 1976 and was one of the founding members of the Sunshine State Conference. Smeltzly, a two-time national Coach of the Year, has been inducted into several halls of fame, including the Florida Southern College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002. His uniform, number 7, is one of eight to be retired at Florida Southern.
Pennie Parker, Rollins College
During Associate Vice President of Athletics Pennie Parker’s 21 years at Rollins, the Tars have won three NCAA Division II championships and 25 Sunshine State Conference titles. Rollins also has been recognized with a Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence for 12 consecutive years. The Tars’ Academic Success Rate has led the conference since the NCAA began calculating it in 2006. Additionally, two student-athletes have won the prestigious Elite 90 award and 15 have been named valedictorian. Parker’s introduction to Division II was in compliance and SAAC oversight during her first four years at Rollins. She was named director of athletics in 2006 and promoted to associate vice president of athletics in 2022. Parker was named Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 2013 and 2017, and in 2020 she was selected as the Nike Administrator of the Year by Women Leaders in Sports. She was president of NACDA in 2016-17. Parker has been influential in Division II governance as chair of the Division II Management Council (2018) and as a member of the Division II Legislation Committee for eight years. She recently was selected to serve on the new Division II Strategic Planning and Finance Committee beginning in February.