DALLAS North Dakota State Director of Athletics Gene Taylor was one of 29 winners of the AstroTurf AD of the Year Award (ADOY) announced today by The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). Taylor, who has been at NDSU since July 2001, was recognized as the Football Championship Subdivision Central Region winner.
There are four geographic regions - northeast, southeast, central and west; while the membership is separated into seven categories - Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A); Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA); Division I (formerly Division I-AAA); Division II; Division III; NAIA; and Junior/Community Colleges.
One winner was selected in each of the seven categories, for a total of 29 honorees. Winners will receive their awards during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon at NACDA's 43rd Annual Convention at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.
Taylor, who came to North Dakota State after a 15-year stint at Navy (1986-2001), has guided the athletics program through the unpredictable waters of reclassification to NCAA Division I from Division II. One of most important pieces of the transition was securing conference affilations for all 16 sports. The Bison are currently members of The Summit League and Western Wrestling Conference, and will begin play in the Missouri Valley Football Conference (formerly the Gateway Football Conference) in 2008. NDSU was a charter member of the Great West Football Conference in 2004.
Taylor also spearheaded an increase in the Bison athletics budget, which has more than doubled from $5 million in his first year to almost $12.5 million heading into the 2008-09 season.
NACDA Executive Director Mike Cleary explains the ADOY Award is essential because it highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to campuses and their surrounding communities.
"Our Honors and Awards Committee recognized a need for an award such as the AD of the Year," said Cleary, who oversaw implementation of the program to allow all NACDA Officers and Honors and Awards Committee members to participate in the awards process, should they be elected. "The program brings to light the exceptional jobs done by athletics directors across the country. These 29 winners exemplify that, providing us with a group of outstanding athletics directors who excel at their jobs."
Winners of the 2007-08 AstroTurf AD of the Year Awards are:
Mike Alden University of Missouri Central
Gene Bleymaier Boise State University West
Bob Mulcahy Rutgers University Northeast
Ron Wellman Wake Forest University Southeast
Warren "Moose" Koegel Coastal Carolina University Southeast
Gene Taylor North Dakota State University Central
Gary Walters Princeton University Northeast
Bobby Williams Sam Houston State University West
Nelson E. Bobb University of North Carolina Greensboro Southeast
Peg Bradley-Doppes University of Denver West
Robert Driscoll, Jr. Providence College Northeast
Ken Kavanagh Bradley University Central
Theresa A. Check Central State University Northeast
Rob Fournier Wayne State University Central
Larry Marfise University of Tampa Southeast
Joan McDermott Metropolitan State College of Denver West
Lynda Calkins Hollins University Southeast
Del Malloy Salve Regina University Northeast
Vernon Mummert Wabash College Central
John Schael Washington University West
4-Year Colleges or Universities
Jeff Bain Martin Methodist College Southeast
Debby DeAngelis California State University East Bay West
Mike Fratzke Indiana Wesleyan University Central
H. "Skip" Lord Houghton College Northeast
Dave Evans San Diego Mesa College West
Carl Heinrich Johnson County Community College Central
Robert McKenney Onondaga Community College Northeast
Diane Schumacher Howard Community College Southeast
Greg Harshaw College of the Bahamas
All NACDA-member directors of athletics in the United States, Canada and Mexico who met the criteria were eligible for the award. Among the criteria were service as an AD for a minimum of five academic years; demonstration of commitment to higher education and student-athletes; continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence; and the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments.
Additionally, each AD's institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body (i.e., NCAA, NAIA, etc.), in which the institution could not have been on probation or cited for a lack of institutional control within the last five years during the tenure of the current athletics director.
Nominators were NACDA-member directors of athletics, institutional presidents and conference commissioners. Special Selection Committees composed of current and former directors of athletics, present and past NCAA and NAIA presidents, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the award. A complete listing of Selection Committee members can be found on NACDA's Web site at www.nacda.com.