NJCAA announces annual leadership awards

Charlotte, NC – For the fourth consecutive year, leaders from around the NJCAA were honored at the NJCAA Annual Meetings Awards Dinner sponsored by Medalcraft Mint, Inc. This year's ceremony was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Richmond - Midlothian in Richmond, VA.

For the past four years at the NJCAA annual meetings, individuals from around the country are recognized for their dedication, commitment, and leadership to two-year college athletics. Individuals are also recognized for years of service and for upcoming retirement announcements. 

To see photos from this year's NJCAA Awards Dinner, visit: NJCAA Awards Dinner Photo Gallery

Awarded annually by the NJCAA national office staff to individuals dedicated to the organization's ideals of volunteerism, achievement, service, leadership and excellence. Killian, the first-ever Executive Director of the NJCAA passed away in December, 2017 but his legacy continues to live on.

Lind Hartsell - Craven Community College | Region X Men's Director

For over 20 years, Lind Hartsell has made a national impact on the NJCAA through his commitment and service to the association. A former baseball coach at Lenoir, Hartsell has served a leadership role in Region 10 for the last 12 years.

The current commissioner of Region 10, Hartsell serves on the NJCAA Board of Regents and is the current chair of the Division II baseball committee and has been affiliated with numerous committees during his time within the NJCAA.

Dr. Margaret McMenamin – Union County College (NJ) | NJCAA Presidential Advisory Council, Northeast District

Dr. McMenamin's vision to achieve success at the community college level has been felt throughout the NJCAA for over 30 years. Dr. McMenamin's seat as the NJCAA Northeast Presidential Advisory Council representative has continuously provided insight and leadership to the NJCAA Executive Committee and Board of Regents.

Dr. McMenamin's recent appointment as Chair of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education showcases the passion and dedication Dr. McMenamin has to provide opportunities at the community college level. An advocate for athletics at the community college level, Dr. McMenamin's Union County Owls are consistently in contention for national championships.

Awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the NJCAA on a national level for an extended period of time. The award was named after former NJCAA Executive Director Mary Ellen Leicht in 2017. Leicht was the first-ever female Executive Director to head a national collegiate athletic organization in the United States.

Berdy Kuiken | Region IV Women's Director

With 31 years of dedicated commitment to the NJCAA, Berdy Kuiken has been a staple within the organization's growth since her arrival in Region 4. A member of various committees during her storied career, Kuiken spent 38 years at South Suburban College where she served as the athletic coordinator and academic advisor.

The 2006 recipient of the George E. Killian Award of Excellence, Kuiken helped lead the implementation of women's athletic programs at South Suburban and also chaired the NJCAA Division II Softball Committee.

Jerry Smith – Arizona Western College | NJCAA Board of Regents

A visionary leader for the last 14 years at one of the most historic NJCAA athletic programs, Jerry Smith has guided Arizona Western to a continuous presence on the national stage.

With over 40 years of both junior college playing and administrative experience, Smith arrived in Yuma following a dedicated career at Eastern Oklahoma State and Murray State College. A current member of the NJCAA Board of Regents, Smith has served as the NJCAA Region I Women's Director and has chaired numerous committees throughout his service to the association. Smith's knowledge of the NJCAA has positively impacted programs from around the nation for decades.

Awarded to an active athletic director of a member college who has worked to uphold the ideals of the NJCAA. Significant to this award is leadership in an athletic program exemplifying excellence both on the field and in the classroom.

Troy Tucker – Northampton Community College | NJCAA Board of Regents

Currently in his 11th year at the helm of Northampton athletics, Troy Tucker has served the NJCAA in a multitude of areas throughout his time in the association.

A three-time National Athletic Director of the Year, Tucker serves as the Executive Director of Region 19 and is a member of the NJCAA Board of Regents. Northampton's regional and national success over the years can be attributed to Tucker's passion and dedication for junior college athletics which has led to the Spartans earning the prestigious Region 19 Champions of Character Award three separate times.


The NJCAA Merit Award is given to a former NJCAA student-athlete that has distinguished themselves in their craft and are recognized nationally for their achievements at the professional level.

Sheryl Swoopes – South Plains College (TX) | 1989-91

From 1989-1991, Sheryl Swoopes set the precedent for junior college women's basketball. A two-time All-American and 1991 NJCAA Player of the Year at South Plains, Swoopes set the NJCAA career scoring record with 1,381 points over her two seasons as a Lady Texan.

Following a record-breaking career at South Plains, Swoopes helped Texas Tech claim the 1993 NCAA national championship and was awarded the Naismith College Player of the Year honor after setting numerous records.

A storied collegiate career was only the beginning for Swoopes. A member of the 1996 USA Olympic Gold Medal team, Ms. Swoopes was a part of the inaugural WNBA season and spent 11 seasons with the Houston Comets. Ms. Swoopes' accolades include four WNBA championships, three WNBA MVP awards, and was named one of the WNBA's top-15 Players of All-Time.

Awarded to individuals who have served for 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years as a region director, assistant region director, officer, coaches association president, presidential representative or national office employee.

30 Years of Service

Wayne Baker – Odessa College | Region V Men's Director

25 Years of Service

Art Becker – Scottsdale Community College | Region I Men's Director

Wanda Bodey – NJCAA National Office

20 Years of Service

David Elder – Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association | NJCAA Board of Regents

15 Years of Service

Laura Brown – Daytona State College | Women's Golf Coaches Association President

10 Years of Service

Gary Broadhurst – Mohawk Valley Community College | NJCAA Board of Regents

Julie Mulvey – Massasoit Community College | Region XXI Women's Director

Tom Shaw – Kellogg Community College | Region XII Men's Assistant Director

Jeff Willis – LSU Eunice | Region XXIII Men's Assistant