By Mike DeVader, NAIA Communications & Sports Information intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is proud to announce the hiring of Bob Lade for the new position of Director of Officiating Initiatives.
“This is a great opportunity for the NAIA to engage our officials in many ways, including our expectations related to character-driven intercollegiate athletics.” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “As a veteran official and intercollegiate administrator, Bob Lade is positioned ideally to start this new initiative for the NAIA.”
Lade comes to the NAIA from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., where he gained 33 years of experience as a recreational sports director, instructor and facility coordinator. He has officiated both basketball and football at the high school and collegiate level for three decades, and currently serves as an NCAA Division II men’s basketball officiating observer.
Lade is currently a registered official with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and a member of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO). His hands-on experience as a rules interpreter has helped him train more than 2,000 officials since becoming a sports director and local association trainer.
Highlights of his accomplishments include facilitating the first Fall Classic at Arrowhead, which at the time boasted the highest-attendance of any football event in NCAA Division II history. Lade has coordinated multiple athletic facilities, taught courses in athletic management and officiating football and basketball. The native of Maryville, Mo., also spent eight seasons as a college football coach.
Lade will serve as the primary liaison for all officiating-related activities among the 23 National Championship sports. He will work with key stakeholders to develop additional training and tools for all officials. Lade’s goals will include connecting officials with key NAIA initiatives, which aligns with the NAIA Champions of Character program.
One of Lade’s primary roles will be to manage the partnership with ArbiterSports, which is an online platform for officials. ArbiterSports is the market leader in standardized officials’ education and training.
Lade has a M.S. in Education from Northwest Missouri State, while earning a Bachelor’s in health and physical education from Tarkio College (Mo.). He is married to Diane, and they have three children, Abbey, Dana and Robbie.
About the NAIA: The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) is the governing body for athletics programs at its nearly 300 colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. The long-held mission of the NAIA is to promote the education and development of well-rounded students and productive citizens through intercollegiate athletics. The association offers equitable access and opportunities for participation in its 23 national championship events held annually throughout the country.
Today, the NAIA strengthens its commitment to student-athletes and strives to enrich their college experience by supporting academic achievement and character development. NAIA Champions of Character is the association’s innovative flagship program designed to instill character values in student-athletes, coaches and youth in the communities it serves.