By Tyler Price, Baker (Kan.) Assistant Director of Athletics
BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – For the second time in her distinguished tenure as Director of Athletics at Baker University (Kan.), Baker alumna Theresa Yetmar ’02, ’06, earned the 2012-13 Heart of America Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year award at the 2014 NAIA National Convention Awards luncheon on April 12 in Kansas City, Mo.
She was also awarded the HAAC AD of the Year honor for the 2011-12 athletic season. The award is voted upon by the HAAC Board of Governors.
Yetmar has served as the AD at Baker since Jan. 1, 2009 and the athletics program has experienced an unprecedented combination of athletic, academic and administrative success.
"Thisaward should come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with Theresa's work,” said Baker University President Dr. Pat Long. “She has done an outstanding job leading our athletic department. More importantly than the numerous conference championships and three individual national championships during her tenure, she has worked to ensure the academic integrity of the university remains at an all-time high."
The 2012-13 academic year saw the Wildcats capture six HAAC conference championships including Men’s Cross Country, Women’s Indoor Track and Field, Men’s Indoor Track and Field, Women’s Outdoor Track and Field, Men’s Outdoor Track and Field and Women’s Golf.
Off the field, Baker also had 44 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, eight Capital One Academic All-District award winners and the for the first-time in school history, four Capital One Academic All-Americans in Josh Rydberg (Men’s Soccer), Jordan Dolbin (Women’s Soccer), Katie Thurbon (Women’s Track and Field) and Aaron Caldwell (Men’s Track and Field).
Also for the 2012-13 academic year, Baker University men's and women's athletic programs both finished with the highest overall GPA's of all 10 institutions in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
For that honor, Baker was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to a current male and female student-athlete of their choosing. Receiving the scholarships were Ethan Hays of the men’s soccer team and Shannon Bond of the volleyball program.
Baker’s women’s athletic programs had a 3.37 cumulative GPA in the 2012-13 academic year, while the men’s teams earned a 3.04 GPA, the only men’s athletic program in the HAAC to earn over a 3.0.
“I'm extremely humbled to be recognized by my peers for such a prestigious honor,” said Yetmar. “The HAAC is one of the strongest conferences in the NAIA, comprised by top level institutions, athletic directors, and coaches. I feel blessed to be able towork with each of my colleagues on a daily basis. This award is one I sharewith all members of our Baker Athletics Department. It is a true testament to their hard work and dedication on behalf of our student-athletes.”
In the 2012-13 season, Baker had another stellar season nationally finishing No. 20 in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup NAIA Final Standings. That Top 20 ranking was the highest ranking of any NAIA institution in the State of Kansas and the top ranking in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.
Capping off 2012-13, sprinter Jeremy Gathright became the third BU student-athlete to capture a NAIA National Championship. He won the 400-meter dash at the 2013 NAIA Outdoor Men’s Track and Field national championship in a time of 46.62.
Yetmar’s hard work has not gone unnoticed around the country, earning her the NACWAA NAIA/NJCAA/Community College Administrator of the Year award in 2011 and NAIA-ADA Athletics Director of the Year for the Heart of America Athletic Conference in 2010-11.
Yetmar has also assisted the NAIA on several committees including the Selection Sunday Committee (2010), the Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Local Organizing Committee (2009-Present) and NAIA Wrestling National Championship Local Organizing Committee (2012-Present). Yetmar served two years as the Heart of America Athletic Conference Board of Governors’ Chair.
She is also the HAAC liaison for the sports of Wrestling and Men's and Women's Tennis and began a three-year term in June 2013 as a member of the NAIA National Administrative Council (NAC) serving on the rules and ratings subcommittee and as the national liaison for women's soccer. The NAC helps shape policy at the highest level of the NAIA with committees governing Rules and Ratings, Championships, Awards and Statistics, and Experience and Enhancement.
Yetmar played four seasons for the Wildcat women’s basketball team from 1998-2002, earning Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors in 2001 and 2002 and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in business management and earned a Masters of Business Administration from Baker in 2006.