Champions of Character Staff & Advisory Board
Kristin Knopik Gillette
Director of Champions of Character
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
A certified Champions of Character presenter since 2005, Kristin oversees local and national initiatives including character education activities at championship events, character conferences and coordinates the certification of NAIA constituents. Gillette is involved in strategizing to improve the awareness of the Champions of Character program. In her efforts she will serve as a presenter and speak to college students, parents, and youth about the importance of using the power of sport to teach life lessons. Previously, Kristin had been the NAIA's administrator for women's soccer, women's basketball and men's and women's golf, and served as the liaison to the NAIA Hall of Fame and Awards Committee.
Champions of Character Program Coordinator
As the NAIA's Champions of Character Program Coordinator, Kathy coordinates all activities, local programming, materials and evaluations. Prior to joining the NAIA in 2005, Kathy was a physical education teacher at various levels of secondary education in Kansas. In addition to teaching, Kathy was a youth softball coach for 10 years. Kathy obtained both her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Education from the University of Kansas. Contact Kathy to schedule a Champions of Character presentation at your organization.
Dr. Ted Brown
Martin Methodist College, Pulaski, TN
Ted Brown has served as President of Martin Methodist College since 1998. His arrival at Martin Methodist followed 13 years as Vice President for College Advancement at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., and nearly 25 years of church-related higher education experience with the Vanderbilt University Divinity School and the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. A New Jersey native, Brown grew up as an active member of the United Methodist Church. In 1973 he graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a degree in philosophy and began working on that campus in admissions, eventually serving as assistant director. Following a year on the staff of Jay Rockefeller's successful West Virginia gubernatorial campaign in 1976, he enrolled at the Divinity School at Vanderbilt University. He earned his master of divinity degree in 1979. In 1987 he earned his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, focusing on the field of higher education administration. Dr. Brown did post-doctoral study at Harvard University in 1996. Brown serves on the NAIA Executive Committee and Council of Presidents and has served the NAIA in numerous other capacities, including helping author the document that in 2001 led to the nationwide Champions of Character initiative. In 2008 Brown was elected president of the International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities (IAMSCU). He is a past chairman of the board of the Giles County Chamber of Commerce and a member and past president of the Pulaski Rotary Club. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Middle Tennessee Boy Scout Council, and he has been an active member at First United Methodist Church, serving on various committees and as a lay leader. Dr. Brown and his wife Cheryl have two sons, Ted and Tyler and one grandson, William.
Director of Athletics
Vanguard University, Costa Mesa, CA
Bob Wilson is deeply committed to making a significant impact on students and athletes, using the platform of athletics to teach pursuing excellence in academics, athletics and character building. Certified as a Champions of Character instructor in 2004, Bob currently directs Vanquard University's 15-sport Athletic Department and Champions of Character Program Center. Bob's extensive collegiate athletic career includes 10 years as Athletics Director at Phillips University and 24 years of coaching. Bob was named an Academic All-American at the University of Wyoming and lead his team to the NCAA basketball tournament. Bob is a member of the NAIA Men's Basketball Hall of Fame and has been honored as NACDA West Coast Athletics Director of the Year.
Director of Champions of Character and Sports Camps
Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, MI
Mike Riemersma is a strong voice for Champions of Character within and outside of the Grand Rapids community. Certified as a Champions of Character Instructor in 2004, Mike currently directs the activites for Cornerstone University's Champions of Character Program Center. In addition, he serves the University as Director of Sports Camps, Assistant Women's Basketball Coach and faculty member. Before coming to Cornerstone, Mike was a faculty member, soccer and basketball coach at Grace Bible College, where he received several NCCAA Midwest Coach of Year honors. Mike also coached high school and youth soccer. As a member of the Grace Bible College Soccer Team, Mike was named NCCAA Division II-District 3 All-American.
John Mark Adkison
Assistant Director of Athletics and Champions of Character Liaison
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL
John Mark Adkison, who is in his ninth year at Embry-Riddle, is the Eagles' Assistant Director of Athletics. His responsibilities include managing the Department's fundraising efforts and overseeing the Academic Enhancement and Hall of Fame programs. In addition, Adkison serves as a liaison for the Student Athlete Leadership Team and the Champions of Character program. Prior to Embry-Riddle, Adkison spent time as the LPGA Senior Marketing Coordinator, as well as the Championship Events Coordinator, Marketing Coordinator, and a Sports Information Intern all for the NAIA. Adkison is also active in the local community. He volunteers at St. James Episcopal School in Ormond Beach as the middle school basketball coach, serves on the FUTURES Foundation Board and is the Chair of the Missions Committee at Christ Community Church. He has also served as the basketball coach at the Dudley Founation Basketball Camp in Vernonia, Oregon, a camp specialized for children with type one diabetes. Adkison earned his master's degree in Sports Administration from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 2001 and a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Taylor University in 1993. He and wife Candace reside in Daytona Beach with their daughter Georgia.
Director of Athletics
Ashford University, Clinton, IA
Meg Schebler joined Ashford University as Director of Athletics in 1998. In addition to her Athletic Director duties, she has served Ashford as Head Women's Basketball Coach, Head Softball Coach, an adjunct faculty member and a member of a number of institutional committees and the Campus Leadership team. In 2012 Schebler was recognized as the NAIA Athletic Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Women's Athletic Administrators (NACWAA). In 2007 Schebler was selected by her peers as the Midwest Collegiate Conference Athletic Director of the Year as well as the Region VII Athletic Director of the Year. Schebler is a two-time Midwest Classic Conference Coach of the Year and holds the Ashford record for most wins by a women's basketball coach. She has coached numerous All-American, All-Region and All-Conference performers and her 2002-3 team was ranked 11th in the nation by the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association with a team GPA of 3.23. A native of Davenport, Iowa, Schebler graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor's degree in History, Secondary Education. She taught High School Social Studies in Ft. Madison, Iowa, and then pursued and received her Master's Degree at Drake University. Meg has served on numerous NAIA Committees and Councils and is a past president of the NAIA Athletics Director's Association. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
Dr. Scott Z. Crawford
Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
Dr. Scott Crawford has been the commissioner of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) since July of 2007. Before becoming the commissioner of the KCAC, Crawford served as commissioner of the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC) for two years (2005-2007) and as the assistant Commissioner of the Mid-South Conference (2002- 2005). Crawford was successful high school coach in Salt Lake City, Utah and Dove Creek Colorado (1999-2000). He was selected the Boys Basketball Coach of the Year in the San Juan Basin League for the 1999-2000 season. Crawford holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Organizational Administration with a concentration in Sport Administration (2007) from the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. Over a four-year period (2003-2007), Crawford taught several courses in the undergraduate sport administration program at the University of Louisville, while working to complete his Ph.D. Crawford continues to give back to his alma mater as an adjunct professor in the sport administration program at the University of Louisville by teaching online courses. Prior to beginning doctoral work in Sport Administration, Crawford completed his Masters degree in Sport Administration in May 2003 - also at the University of Louisville. He earned a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Secondary Education (2000) from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English (1994) from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Crawford and his wife, Shelley, have two daughters, Emmeline and Marley Jane.
Assistant Athletic Director and Champions of Character Liaison
Talladega College, Talladega, AL
Demond Walker has served as Champions of Character Director at Talladega College since 2009. Since that time Talladega College has become very involved in community service activities and character building earning the college three straight NAIA Champions of Character Five Star Institution Awards. Demond also serves as the Talladega College Head Athletic Trainer for 7 sports and conference representative for NAIA-ATA for the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference. Walker completed his Bachelor degree in Recreational Therapy from Southwestern Oklahoma State University Weatherford, OK and earned his Masters in Business Administration Health Care Management degree from Salem International University Salem,WV. Mr. Walker is presently pursuing a Phd. in Sports Management at North Central University Prescott, AZ. He also currently adjunct instructor for Talladega College.