"When I think of Bob Wilson, I think first of a man of impeccable integrity, deep commitment to the best that the NAIA represents, great loyalty to his institution and programs, and a commitment to mentoring future athletics leaders," said Carol Taylor, president of Vanguard University.
Wilson, who has headed Vanguard's athletics department since 1995, has led the Lions as they advanced 57 teams to NAIA national championship play and captured 11 conference championship titles. With his leadership, Vanguard programs earned a number of distinctive honors for outstanding athletes and their achievements in competition and in the classroom. During Wilson's tenure, Vanguard has had 199 NAIA Scholar Athletes and 149 NAIA All-Americans.
Wilson earned a master's degree in secondary education with an emphasis in physical education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He earned an undergraduate degree in both biological sciences and education from the University of Wyoming. Wilson has been the assistant commissioner for the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) for 13 years and was the regional chairman in the previous NAIA structure.
"Whether serving as the president of one of the councils, or as a committee member, Bob Wilson has brought an ample supply of wisdom, dedication and energy," said Dr. Dave Holmquist, athletics director and head men's basketball coach at Biola University (Calif.).
Wilson has been instrumental in the installation of the NAIA Champions of Character program at Vanguard since its launch in 2000. Vanguard is now a Certified Program Center of NAIA Champions of Character, and Vanguard has garnered 10 NAIA Teams of Character awards, two Dr. LeRoy Walker awards and two National NAIA Coach of Character awards. Wilson has worked hard to make Champions of Character a critical element in Vanguard athletics culture. He educates his student athletes tirelessly on important concepts and values, and he motivates them to be persons of good character.
Dr. Cliff Hamlow, recently retired commissioner of the GSAC, believes there is no person more involved in outreach and development of the GSAC and NAIA than Wilson.
"Bob Wilson has the student-athlete uppermost in his thinking as he makes decisions for the Vanguard University program, the GSAC and the NAIA," Hamlow said.
Wilson was selected from the pool of NAIA Conference Athletics Directors of the Year, and he will be formally recognized at the 2013 NAIA Awards Banquet, part of the NAIA National Convention, which is scheduled for April 19-23 in Kansas City, Mo.
NAIA Conference Athletics Directors of the Year: Bob Burchard (American Midwest Conference/Columbia College, Mo.); Donny Mayfield (Appalachian Athletic Conference/Tennessee Wesleyan College); Marvin Christopher (California Pacific Conference/California State University-Maritime); Michael Schell (Cascade Collegiate Conference/Oregon Institute of Technology); Bob Hallberg and Dave Laketa (Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference/Saint Xavier University, Il./University of St. Francis, Il.); Mark DeMichael(Crossroads League/Indiana Wesleyan University); Joe McClafferty (Frontier Conference/Montana Tech of the University of Montana); Greg Heier (Great Plains Athletic Conference/Doane College, Neb.); James Coleman (Gulf Coast Athletic Conference/Tougaloo College, Miss.); Theresa Yetmar (Heart of America Athletic Conference/Baker University, Kan.); Rusty Allen (Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference/Tabor College, Kan.); Pat Mrozowski (Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference/Brescia University, Ky.); Jim Krueger (Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference/College of Saint Mary, Ne.); Willis Pooler (Mid-South Conference/Lindsey Wilson College, Ky.); Troy Plummer (Midwest Collegiate Conference/Grand View University, Iowa); Michael Galvan (Red River Athletic Conference/University of the Southwest, N.M.); Greg Feris (Sooner Athletic Conference/Wayland Baptist University, Texas); Scott Little (Southern States Athletic Conference/Belhaven University, Miss.); Laura Courtley-Todd (The Sun Conference/Saint Thomas University, Fla.); Mike McCutchen (TranSouth Athletic Conference/Freed-Hardeman University, Tenn.); Paul Lowden (Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference/Davenport University, Mich.).