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NACDA FCS Athletic Directors of the Year Announced
The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced the 28 winners of the Under Armour AD of the Year Award (ADOY) today. Charlie Cobb of Appalachian State University was honored in the Southeast, Robert Hill of Stephen F. Austin State University was honored in the West, Ron Prettyman of Indiana State University was honored in the Central, and Joe Sterrett of Lehigh University was honored in the Northeast.
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. One winner was selected in each of the seven categories, for a total of 28 honorees. Winners will receive their awards during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon on Saturday, June 18 at NACDA’s 46th Annual Convention at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla.
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 outstanding jobs done by athletics directors across the country. These 28 winners exemplify that, providing us with a group of exemplary athletics directors who excel at their jobs.”
FCS Winners of the 2010-11 Under Armour AD of the Year Awards are:
Charlie Cobb, Appalachian State University, Southeast
In his first five-and-one-half years at Appalachian State University, Charlie Cobb has led the department to unparalleled success, including: 3 NCAA Division I football national championships; Shattering football attendance records, including a 298% increase in ticket sales; 6-consecutive Commissioner’s Cups and 2 Germann Cups; 35% of students making the Academic Honor Roll (GPA of 3.25); The Yosef Club raising over $2.5 million for the first time in 2009-10; Athletics budget increasing from $7.5 to $14 million.
However, the most notable of Cobb’s many achievements are the addition of first-class facilities. Facility enhancements totaling $60 million are headlined by the 120,000-square-foot Appalachian Athletics Center. With the enhancements, all 20 of Appalachian’s teams practice and compete in new facilities.
Prior to his arrival in Boone, Cobb worked at NC State from 1998-2005. Cobb also spent six years in Atlanta, where he held positions with the Atlanta Sports Council, the Peach Bowl and Georgia Dome.
Cobb graduated with honors from NC State. A second-team all-ACC honoree as a senior, Cobb earned the prestigious Jim Tatum Award, presented to the ACC football senior with the highest GPA. Cobb earned a master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University.
Charlie and Lindsay have 2 children - Harrison and Branan.
Robert Hill, Stephen F. Austin State University, West
Robert Hill, now in his sixth year directing the Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) athletics department, and in his 24th year overall at SFA, has been a longtime administrative leader at the institutional, conference and national levels.
In addition to serving as the chair of the Southland Conference Athletics Directors’ Committee, Hill is set to begin a multi-year term on the Division I Football Championships Committee and the Division I Football Issues Committee, and currently represents the Southland Conference on the Executive Committee of the FCS Athletic Directors Association.
During his time as athletic director, the Lumberjacks have claimed 20 Southland Conference titles and have made NCAA championship appearances in eight sports and is only the second Southland institution to win the Conference’s men’s and women’s all-sports awards and the combined Commissioner’s Cup for all-around competitive excellence.
Under Hill’s guidance, SFA has added two new varsity sports in women’s golf and bowling, which began in 2009, and has made vast facility improvements including a new softball stadium, major renovations to the baseball stadium, newly remodeled football dressing room, football offices and meeting rooms as well as a new tennis pavilion, which houses the women’s team.
Ron Prettyman, Indiana State University, Central
In his sixth year at the helm of Indiana State University, Ron Prettyman has brought competitive success and led the resurgence for the Sycamores athletics program.
In addition to a number of facility upgrades, Prettyman has proven his track record in hiring masterful coaches, including Trent Miles, who has put the ISU football program back on the national map and was named the 2010 MVFC Coach Of The Year. Additionally, Prettyman hired Greg Lansing as basketball coach, and he led the Sycamores to the MVC Tournament Championship this season and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001.
Prettyman has had a significant impact on Conference affairs, taking an active role in the expansion of the MVFC to 10 institutions and serving on important MVC committees throughout his tenure.
Nationally, Prettyman was recognized as an Athletics Director of the Year by NACDA in 2004, while in the AD position at Cal State-Dominguez Hills. He has served on NACDA’s Executive Committee, the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup Committee and the NCAA Recruiting Cabinet Committees. He is a Past President of both the Division II Athletics Directors Association and the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
In addition to his leadership at Indiana State and Cal State- Dominguez Hills, Prettyman served as AD at his alma mater, Vanguard University, for 13 years.
Joe Sterrett, Lehigh University, Northeast
Joe Sterrett is in his 35th year of service at Lehigh University, his 22nd year as director of athletics and sixth as the dean of athletics, a designation that was made when the position became an endowed chair. He exemplifies his role at the University and has successfully balanced his strong ethical character and “big picture” vision with his family values.
In 2010 alone, Lehigh won both the Patriot League men’s and women’s basketball championships, as well as the football and women’s soccer titles, while its wrestling team was ranked in the top-10 nationally.
Beyond the athletics success, Lehigh’s teams and individuals regularly earn national distinction in top 25 polls and as All-Americans, Academic All-Americans and national champions. One of Sterrett’s most noteworthy innovations is his establishment of the Center for Athletics Leadership, which is designed to identify and nurture student-athletes as team leaders and build lifetime leadership skills.
A graduate of Lehigh himself, Sterrett is in his 34th year of service at the University. He has provided leadership since the inception of the Patriot League, and has served as chairman of the Patriot League Committee on Athletics Administration and NCAA Division I FCS Championship Committee, and has also been a member of the NCAA Football Issues Committee and the NCAA Division I Management Council.
By The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics