Default Header

NAIA Council of Presidents

Council of Presidents

Chief executive officers of NAIA institutions are critical to the success of the organization. They assume active leadership roles in governance affairs within each conference and are major advocates for the unique approach that the NAIA takes to college athletics.

The Council of Presidents (COP) is composed of institutional chief executive officers elected to represent conferences, independent institutions and members at-large.


January 1-December 31, 2018

Kent Henning

Kent Henning, Chair
Grand View University, Iowa

Paul Ague

Paul Ague, Chair-Elect
San Diego Christian College

Don Blackketter

Don Blackketter
Montana Tech

Arvid Johnson

Arvid Johnson
University of St. Francis, Illinois

Lester Newman

Lester Newman
Jarvis Christian College, Texas

Amy Novak

Amy Novak
Dakota Wesleyan

jim carr naia

Jim Carr
President & CEO
NAIA Staff Liaison


American Midwest Conference Dr. John Pieper Saint Louis College of Pharmacy,  MO
Appalachian Athletic Conference Dr. David Olive Bluefield College, VA
Association of Independent Institutions Mr. Jayson Boyers Cleary University, MI
At-Large Dr. Paul Ague San Diego Christian College, CA
At-Large Mr. Kent Henning Grand View University, IA
California Pacific Conference Dr. Frank Ayers Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, AZ
Cascade Collegiate Conference Dr. Andrea Cook Warner Pacific College, OR
Chicagoland College Athletic Conference Dr. Arvid Johnson University of St. Francis, IL
Crossroads League Mr. Dan Elsener Marian University, IN
Frontier Conference Dr. Don Blackketter Montana Tech of the University of Montana, MT
Golden State Athletic Conference Dr. John Derry Hope International University, CA
Great Plains Athletic Conference Dr. Amy Novak Dakota Wesleyan University, SD
Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Dr. Rod Smothers Philander Smith College, AR
Heart of America Athletic Conference Dr. Roger Drake Central Methodist University, MO
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference Dr. Kevin Eichner Ottawa University, KS
Mid-South Conference Dr. Larry Cockrum University of the Cumberlands, KY 
North Star Athletic Association Dr. Mary Hawkins Bellevue University, NE
Red River Athletic Conference Dr. Lester Newman Jarvis Christian College, TX
River States Conference Dr. Ray Wallace  Indiana University Southeast, IN 
Sooner Athletic Conference Dr. Chip Pollard John Brown University, AR
Southern States Athletic Conference Dr. Tommy King William Carey University, MS
The Sun Conference Dr. Al Panu University of South Carolina Beaufort, SC
Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Dr. Curt Gielow Concordia University, MI