Sam Baker Receives Athletics Director National Award
ORLANDO, Fla. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced Tuesday (June 16) that Georgia Southern University Athletics Director Sam Baker is one of 29 winners of the Under Armour AD of the Year Award (ADOY).
There are four geographic regions - northeast, southeast, central and west; while the membership is separated into seven categories - Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A); Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA); Division I (formerly Division I-AAA); Division II; Division III; NAIA; and Junior/Community Colleges, along with one International winner. One winner was selected in each of the seven categories, for a total of 29 honorees.
Baker was the Football Championship Subdivision’s Southeast Region winner.
Winners will receive their awards during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon at NACDA's 44th Annual Convention at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort on Saturday, June 20.
The Front Royal, Virginia, native began his tenure as GS in January 1996, and in his 14 years has overseen continued growth while continuing to emphasize Rings and Diplomas’, making sure every student-athlete has an opportunity to win a championship ring and earn a diploma.
Under Baker’s direction, the athletics department has captured 27 Southern Conference championships and made 22 appearances in NCAA Championships, including a Football national title in 1999 and 2000, and most recently the Golf and Baseball programs qualifying for the NCAA Regionals.
Five sports programs scored a perfect 1,000 in the latest NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) - the highest total ever since APR was implemented. Last spring Georgia Southern Athletics had 173 student-athletes earn at least a 3.0 GPA, including 37 who recorded a perfect 4.0.
In addition to standout academics and success on the competition field, Baker made facility improvements a top priority. In the last four years alone the department has witnessed renovations at Paulson Stadium (brick façade and new concourses) and construction of the Bishop Field House; Baseball (J.I. Clements Stadium); Softball (Eagle Field built in 2009); Golf (Bennett-Ramsey Golf Center); Men’s and Women’s Soccer; Track and Field (Eagle Soccer/Track Field); Iron Works (expanded and renovated Strength/Conditioning Facility); and Basketball (renovated locker rooms).
Additionally, Baker has been active in his service to the Southern Conference and the NCAA. From May 2000 to May 2002, he served as chair of the SoCon Athletics Directors Association.
“I am very honored and very humbled to receive this award. I appreciate all the administrators, coaches, staff and student-athletes who helped make this possible,” said Baker.
NACDA Executive Director Mike Cleary explains the ADOY Award is essential because it highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to campuses and their surrounding communities.
"Our Honors and Awards Committee recognized a need for an award such as the AD of the Year," said Cleary, who oversaw implementation of the program to allow all NACDA Officers and Honors and Awards Committee members to participate in the awards process, should they be elected. "The program brings to light the exceptional jobs done by athletics directors across the country. These 29 winners exemplify that, providing us with a group of outstanding athletics directors who excel at their jobs."
All NACDA-member directors of athletics in the United States, Canada and Mexico who met the criteria were eligible for the award. Among the criteria were service as an AD for a minimum of five academic years; demonstration of commitment to higher education and student-athletes; continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence; and the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments. Additionally, each AD's institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body (i.e., NCAA, NAIA, etc.), in which the institution could not have been on probation or cited for a lack of institutional control within the last five years during the tenure of the current athletics director.
Nominators were NACDA-member directors of athletics, institutional presidents and conference commissioners. Special Selection Committees composed of current and former directors of athletics, present and past NCAA and NAIA presidents, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the award. A complete listing of Selection Committee members can be found on NACDA's Web site at www.nacda.com.
Under Armour® (NYSE: UA) is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The brand's moisture-wicking synthetic fabrications are engineered in many different designs and styles for wear in nearly every climate to provide a performance alternative to traditional natural fiber products. The Company's products are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to professional, on playing fields around the globe. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland, with European headquarters in Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium, and additional offices in Denver, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Guangzhou, China. For further information, please visit the Company's website at www.underarmour.com.
About NACDA: NACDA, now in its 45th year, is the professional and educational association for more than 6,500 college athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 2,300 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. Additionally, NACDA administers 11 professional associations for the separate business units that report directly to the athletics director.
- Category: Athletics
- Published on Thursday, 18 June 2009 10:23