CLEVELAND – Former Rocky Mountain College Director of Athletics Bruce Parker was awarded one of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Under Armour AD of the Year Awards (ADOY) at the NAIA level earlier this month.
Parker retired from his position at Rocky last month after spending three-and-a-half years at the college. He spent 12 years in the same role at Carroll College before the last three-plus at Rocky. This is the third time Parker has been honored with the NACDA Under Armour AD of the Year Award during that time, and the first while at Rocky.
“This is a great honor that I wouldn’t have received without the amazing coaches, support staff and student-athletes at Rocky Mountain College,” Parker said of winning the award. “I was fortunate to be at a great institution like Rocky and I am very proud of all the accomplishments that were achieved during my time at the college.”
During his 15 years as an AD in the Frontier Conference, Parker has been named the conference AD of the Year eight times. He was the NAIA AD of the Year in 2009.
On behalf of everyone in the Frontier Conference, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Bruce Parker on being named the NAIA Under Armour West Region Athletic Director of the Year,” Frontier Conference commissioner Kent Paulson said. “What a fitting way for Bruce to end what has been a spectacular career serving student-athletes as an Athletic Administrator in both the NCAA and the NAIA. Bruce has been named the Frontier Conference nominee for the NAIA Athletic Director of the Year multiple times during his fine career. I can’t think of a more deserving award for a true professional and friend, best of luck Bruce on a most well-deserved retirement.”
The award spans seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS, Division I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior College/Community Colleges). Winners will receive their awards during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon on Friday, June 29 at NACDA’s 53rd Annual Convention at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
The ADOY Award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses, and their surrounding communities.
“This is the 20th year for the Athletics Director of the Year Program, and each year that goes by, we are continually blown away by the standard of success that these award winners maintain across all levels of college athletics,” said Bob Vecchione, NACDA Executive Director. “Over the last two decades, we have been fortunate to recognize more than 425 individuals for the impressive work they do and the examples they set for everyone in our industry.”
Under Armour is now in its 10th year of sponsoring the award and over 220 different athletics directors have been honored with the award during that time.
“The Athletics Director of the Year Award honors those men and women who are visionary leaders in college athletics,” said Walker Jones, Under Armour senior director of global sports marketing. “Under Armour is proud to partner with NACDA to facilitate this recognition for the top athletics directors across all divisions.”
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, as well as other respected intercollegiate athletics administrators. Special Divisional Selection Committees composed of current and former directors of athletics, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the award.