By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is pleased to announce that Jared Bodammer, Director of Sports Media at Briar Cliff University (Iowa), is the recipient of the 2014 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 Communications and Sports Information Director. The award, in its 38th year, will be presented at the Ike Pearson Awards Dinner on June 8 at Orange Tree Golf Club as part of the annual NAIA-Sports Information Directors Association (NAIA-SIDA) Convention in Orlando, Fla.
“Jared has redefined the value and importance a sports information professional brings to an athletic organization. He has become my right-hand man and also holds the title of Associate Athletic Director for External Relations,” said Stephen R. Gast, Briar Cliff Athletics Director. “He actively manages the Charger Foundation and the Charger Sports Media Department. But even with these expanded responsibilities, sports information is still at the core of what he does and loves.”
Bodammer, a Briar Cliff graduate, is in his 17th year serving in a sports information role with the university. Though his role has grown to include duties in athletic fundraising, marketing and promotions, Bodammer has continued to manage and oversee the sports information duties for the Charger athletic department throughout his tenure.
On the conference level, Bodammer has been an asset to Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) Commissioner Corey Westra, “Jared is someone I can absolutely count on for helping support GPAC tournaments that are hosted by Briar Cliff. He has provided expert assistance for numerous tournament games and championships.”
Bodammer was also selected as the first chair of the GPAC SID group, where his willingness to train and help others in the profession is evident. “He is the dean of the GPAC sports information directors, but he has an insatiable desire to learn and improve. He also never says no to any opportunity to help other sports information directors or to help me with issues affecting the conference,” said Westra.
On the national level, Bodammer has played a key role in bringing NAIA National Championship events to the Sioux City, Iowa area. He’s served on the steering committee for the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship (17 years), the NAIA Volleyball National Championship (six years) and the NAIA Wrestling National Championship (three years). He has also acted as the tournament statistics coordinator for both the Division II women’s basketball and the volleyball national championships in Sioux City.
Bodammer has certainly had a significant impact on the visibility of his alma mater’s athletic department.
He’s been a consummate professional with the media. “Over the years Jared has always taken care of our local media with a smile and has always made sure we get the information we need to succeed in our jobs…His insight, organization and promptness allowed me to do my job in an efficient manner,” said Justin Barker, KSCJ Program Director and former voice of the Chargers.
Bodammer has created a variety of events and marketing campaigns to further the reach of Briar Cliff athletics including: OWN THE DOME, a campaign promoting the move of Briar Cliff’s home football games to NCAA Division I University of South Dakota’s DakotaDome; Moonlight Madness, an annual event used to kick off Briar Cliff’s basketball season; Cliff Top Wrestle-Offs, an annual event used to kick off Briar Cliff’s wrestling season and promote the sport with the student body; and the dedication of Briar Cliff’s basketball court, a one-time event to honor legendary men’s basketball coach and NAIA Hall of Famer Ray Nacke.
Bodammer also engages with the student body by working as a professor in Briar Cliff’s sport management program and serving as a mentor to students who are interested in a career in sports information. That unique connection with the student body has enabled Bodammer to increase student engagement around Briar Cliff athletics. He rebranded the Charger student section as the “Blue Crew” something that’s “fostered an active engagement culture in our student section at games,” said Beverly A. Wharton, Briar Cliff President.
After 17 years working in a variety of roles at his alma mater, it’s fair to say that Bodammer has dedicated his career and his life to Briar Cliff University, and that the Charger athletic department is certainly better for it.
The Clarence "Ike" Pearson Award was first given in 1977. Bodammer’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.); Steven Aldridge, Union University (Tenn.); and Steve Wilson, Park University (Mo.).
NAIA-SIDA is the professional association for sports information directors within 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.
For more information on the award, click here.
For more information on NAIA-SIDA, click here.