By: Dave Laketa, Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Information Director
CHICAGO, Ill. - The Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) has named Jeff Schimmelpfennig as its new conference commissioner, it was announced by the league office on Wednesday.
Schimmelpfennig takes over for Dave Laketa, who served in the position for the past four-and-one-half years, while also directing the University of St. Francis (Ill.) athletic program. Schimmelpfennig becomes the first CCAC commissioner independent of any member school in the history of the conference, one of many provisions recently established by the NAIA to be in compliance with NAIA affiliated conference requirements.
"We are excited to have Jeff on board," said Laketa, who headed up the search committee. "We started the search process in the summer of 2012, but did not find the right person at the time and re-opened the search again this fall.
"Jeff was someone that we targeted this time around due to his NAIA experiences as both a student-athlete and administrator and his general knowledge of both the NAIA and the CCAC."
Schimmelpfennig, who graduated from Olivet Nazarene University with both a Bachelor of Science (1986) and a Masters (1990) in Business Administration, served his alma mater in various capacities during a 20-year stay. A graduate assistant at first, he later served as a faculty member, an assistant coach in the men's basketball program and the head coach of both the men's and women's tennis programs. Schimmelpfennig then took on the director of financial aid duties for five years before becoming the director of athletics in 2001. He stayed in that capacity until 2008 when he left Olivet Nazarene to become a financial advisor.
"I look at this position as both an honor and a challenge," said Schimmelpfennig. "Having seen, as a young coach, the efforts of many of the former athletic directors who gave their entire careers to their institutions and to this conference, I am honored to try and help keep their visions alive for the CCAC.
"I also accept it as a challenge to try and lead the CCAC and its member institutions to continued national recognition and prominence, while also strengthening our brand in the Chicagoland area."
Along with his new duties, Schimmelpfennig will maintain his position as a financial advisor for the Bourbonnais-Ill. branch of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, where he has been awarded the "Chairman Club" award for being in the top ten percent nationally of financial advisor associates each of the past four years.