SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University Director of Athletics Bill Smith has been named one of the 28 winners of the Under Armour AD of the Year Award, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced.
Smith, who is in his 12th year at Bryant, is one of four AD's from FCS schools to be recognized. He is joined by Thomas Beckett from Yale, Vicky Chun from Colgate and Ingrid Wicker McCree from North Carolina Central.
"Bill Smith is the consummate Athletic Director and leader; smart, hardworking, thoughtful, compassionate and competitive."
"What a wonderful achievement for Bill Smith," Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley said. "Bill Smith is the consummate Athletic Director and leader; smart, hardworking, thoughtful, compassionate and competitive. We are all so very proud of what he has accomplished at Bryant and this recognition is a well-deserved tribute to his skills and achievements."
At Bryant, Smith has guided the Black and Gold through the transition to Division I and has crafted the department into one of the best in the Northeast Conference. Under his watch, the Bulldogs won back-to-back NEC Commissioner's Cups in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and have won 38 NEC Regular-Season and Tournament Championships in five-plus years of full eligibility.
In addition, the Black and Gold have thrived in the classroom under Smith's watch. This past fall, Bryant student-athletes posted a 3.19 cumulative GPA, the best in DI program history. The Bulldogs have also led the NEC in GSR and APR Awards in each of the last four years, with over half of the varsity programs earning APR recognition this past year.
Smith currently represents Bryant and the NEC on the national stage as the Second Vice President on the Division I Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association (FCS ADA) and is a member of the FCS Football Championship Selection Committee.
The award spans seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS, I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year institutions and Junior Colleges/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 Covention 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."
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. A complete listing of Selection Committee members can be found on NACDA's website at www.nacda.com.