KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is pleased to announce that Steven Aldridge, Sports Information Director at Union (Tenn.), is the recipient of the 2012 Clarence "Ike" Pearson Award. The honor is named for the former statistical crew chief for the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship and is given annually to an outstanding NAIA Sports Information Director. The award, in its 36th year, will be presented at the Ike Pearson Awards Luncheon on June 22 at the annual NAIA-Sports Information Directors Association (NAIA-SIDA) Convention at Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis, Mo.
"I am extremely thankful and humbled to be chosen as this year's Ike Pearson Award winner," said Aldridge. "To be included with such outstanding professionals in our field is indeed a tremendous honor. I want to first of all thank God for allowing me to work at a place like Union University, where we can grow spiritually, while being able to encourage students to do the same. I share this honor with my family. I appreciate them tremendously for giving so much of their time to allow me to work in athletics. I am grateful to our president at Union, Dr. David S. Dockery, and the two athletic directors I have been privileged to work for over the past 12 years, Dr. David Blackstock and Tommy Sadler. Their support, along with the friendship and support of my coaches, has made this tremendous opportunity a possibility. I would also like to thank the many current and former sports information directors across the nation, especially those from the TranSouth Conference that I have worked with over the years. They are more than just colleagues, but are good friends as well."
Aldridge, a native of Myrtle, Miss., is in his 12th year of serving as the Sports Information Director at Union. With his duties, he oversees all promotion and publicity for the athletic department including: media guide design, website management, coordinating statistical efforts for 10 varsity athletic teams and serving as a backup radio broadcaster for Union men's and women's basketball contests.
Additionally, Aldridge serves as an adjunct professor in the Sports Management/Marketing department and is a co-sponsor for the Physical Education, Wellness and Sport academic organization, Sigma Delta.
During his tenure at Union, Aldridge has won 5-of-6 TranSouth Athletic Conference Sports Information Director of the Year awards, including back-to-back honors in 2006 - 2007 and 2010 - 2011. He is an active member of NAIA-SIDA and CoSIDA, winning 50 publications awards, including the NAIA's top website in 2003 and 2007, a first-place men's soccer brochure in 2008 and top honors in the 2009 Dr. W. Jack Bell Writing Contest. Aldridge served two terms with the NAIA-SIDA board as an at-large officer from 2009 to 2011.
Aldridge has served the NAIA and the TranSouth Athletic Conference in numerous fashions, acting as the conference's baseball SID since 2001 and cross country contact since 2004. He also volunteered his time for two seasons as the softball SID. For the NAIA, he worked as the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship Media Coordinator from 2008 to 2011 and NAIA Softball National Championship Media Coordinator in May 2009. He has also served as a championship statistician multiple times.
Prior to Union, Aldridge spent three years as the Box Office and Events Manager for Minor League Baseball's West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, now the Jackson Generals. He was in charge of the design and sale of game-day and season tickets, while also securing promotions and events for games throughout the season.
Aldridge earned a bachelor's degree from Union in sports management with an emphasis in marketing in 1998. In 2008, he completed his Master of Arts and Education degree from Union.
Aldridge currently resides in Jackson, Tenn. with his wife Stacy, daughter Haley and son Justin.
"Steven's work has won national awards and his service to the NAIA national office is well documented," said E.L. Hutton, former Commissioner of the TranSouth Athletic Conference and NAIA Hall of Famer, in his recommendation letter. "Those who have worked with him know that his character and the manner in which he conducts himself with others is what sets him apart. He was a champion of character long before the idea became part of the NAIA's plan. It has been said that sport does not build character, but revels character. Steven's work this past 10 years has revealed character worth emulating by each of us."
The Clarence "Ike" Pearson Award was first given in 1977. Aldridge's legacy joins an impressive list of former winners that include: Melvin Schreves, Elon College (N.C.); Gene Warren, Pembroke State University (N.C.); Stan Green, Harding University (Ark.); Don Briggs, University of Nebraska-Kearney; Dr. D.L. Ligon, Midwestern State University (Texas); Fred Nuesch, Texas A&I University; Andy Solomon, Winthrop University (S.C.); Kevin Keys, Liberty Baptist College (Va.); Tim Petermann, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire; Mac Sisson, Ouachita Baptist University (Ark.); Gary Spitler, Pembroke State University (N.C.); Walt McAlexander, Lubbock Christian University (Texas); Larry Smith, Arkansas Tech University; Larry Scott, Minnesota State University-Moorhead; Bobby Hall, Wayland Baptist University (Texas); Reed Richmond, Tarleton State University (Texas); Paul Madison, Western Washington University; Jerry Hanson, Briar Cliff College (Iowa); Bill Boote, Northwestern College (Iowa); Bob Guptill, Central Washington University; Gary Pine, Azusa Pacific University (Calif.); Mark Bankert, Malone College (Ohio); David Fillmore, Evangel College (Mo.); Mark Womack, Cedarville College (Ohio); Russ Blunck, Western Oregon University; Ray Fink, Oklahoma Baptist University; Ken Isaak, Fresno Pacific University (Calif.); Jeff Raymond, Westmont College (Calif.); Scott Cummings, McKendree University (Ill.); Sam Ghrist, Eastern Oregon University; A. John Pearson, Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference; Dave Parsons, Mount Vernon Nazarene University (Ohio); Candy Sullinger, College of the Ozarks (Mo.); Jay Stancil, Union College Ky.); Michael MacEachern, SCAD Savannah (Ga.).
NAIA-SIDA is the professional association for sports information directors with the NAIA. The Clarence "Ike" Pearson Award is the association's highest honor and recognizes its honoree for accomplishments and services performed over a career. Criteria for nomination include at least five years as a member of the NAIA-SIDA and outstanding service to the profession and the NAIA at the conference and national levels.
Portions of this release are courtesy of Union's athletic website