NAIA Announces Annual Award Winners
The NAIA has announced a slate of award winners that will be recognized at the NAIA National Convention this weekend in Kansas City, Mo.
Among the award winners are this year’s NAIA Hall of Fame inductees for meritorious service, the highest award the NAIA bestows, as well as several administrator of the year award winners and the association’s national Champions of Character award winners.
This year’s Hall of Fame class includes Gerald Robert “Bob” Burns, a longtime athletics director and educator at John Brown University (Ark.); Lowell Pitzer, commissioner of the American Midwest Conference as well as a professor and athletics administrator at Missouri Baptist University; and Arthur Wallace “Toby” Williams, a former professor and faculty athletics representative at Trevecca Nazarene University (Tenn.).
The NAIA Athletics Director of the Year is Bob Wilson, athletics director of Vanguard University (Calif.); and the winner of the Charles Morris Award, granted to an NAIA athletics administrator of the year, is Corey Westra, Commissioner of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC), headquartered in Sioux City, Iowa. Phyllis O’Daniels, longtime chair of the Heart of America Athletic Conference (HAAC) Eligibility Committee and faculty athletics representative at Graceland University (Iowa), has been named the recipient of the Wally Schwartz Award, which recognizes the NAIA faculty athletics representative of the year.
Rich Aubrey, head women’s basketball coach at Milligan College (Tenn.), is recipient of the NAIA Coach of Character Award; and Dave Gregson, head men’s soccer coach at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Fla.), also is recipient of the NAIA Coach of Character Award.
Janelle Brown, a five-time All-American in indoor and outdoor track and field and a recent graduate of Cornerstone University (Mich.), is a recipient of the NAIA Dr. Leroy Walker Award; and Jacob Harrison, a senior baseball captain and CoSIDA Academic All-American at William Woods University (Mo.), also is a recipient of the Dr. Leroy Walker Award. The winners of the Walker awards were chosen for their success in athletics and academics and their commitment to the NAIA Champions of Character core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
This is the 72nd Annual NAIA National Convention, and it will be held this year from April 19 to April 23, at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo.