RENO, Nev. – Individuals from across the nation were recognized Thursday evening for their contributions to two-year college athletics during the second annual NJCAA Awards Dinner presented by Medalcraft Mint at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.
Each year, the NJCAA service and recognition awards are bestowed upon individuals from its member institutions, leadership and national office staff that have excelled on the playing field or have exemplified the organization’s principles of leadership, achievement and service. In 2016, the honors began to be presented during a formal dinner at the NJCAA Annual Meeting.
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NJCAA APPRECIATION AWARD
Awarded by the NJCAA Executive Director to individuals and institutions that have provided the organization with extraordinary leadership, loyalty and service.
Bryce Roderick – Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference
For the past 21 years, NJCAA and Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) President Bryce Roderick has demonstrated exceptional leadership, service and commitment to the organization.
In 1996, Roderick began serving as NJCAA Region 6 women’s director and served on the NJCAA Women’s Cross Country Committee. From there until 2008 – while remaining women’s director of Region 6 – Roderick infused himself into a handful of organization committees. Some of the sports he has furnished with his insight include – Division I softball and volleyball. He was chair of the NJCAA Service and Recognition Committee, as well as co-chair of track & field, cross country, half-marathon and marathon. Other notable panels Roderick served on includes eligibility, DI sport districting, co-chair of the Finance and Budget Committee, and chair of Championship Events.
Roderick’s leadership qualities and integrity helped him be elected KJCCC President – a position he’s held since 2003. In 2009, Roderick was elected NJCAA 2nd Vice President for women and held the post until 2014 when he was elected NJCAA President.
NJCAA LOYALTY AWARD
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.
Ron Case – Rowan College of Gloucester County (NJ)
Former Rowan Gloucester athletic director Ron Case augmented what it means to be loyal, as he guided the athletic department out of Sewell, New Jersey, for 25 years.
Under his supervision, the Roadrunners produced a total of 27 NJCAA DIII championships – 19 accumulated by the men’s and eight garnered by the women’s athletic programs. Rowan Gloucester’s athletic programs in total accumulated 68 top-three finishes during Case’s tenure.
During Case’s time as athletic director, his leadership didn’t go unnoticed, as he was named National Athletic Director of the Year for Two-Year Colleges five times. In the state of New Jersey, the Roadrunners athletic department won 14 Collegiate Athletic Administrators of New Jersey Cups (CAANJ) – the award is made up of all universities and colleges in the state, including programs from the NJCAA and NCAA.
Case retired at the end of the 2016 year to complete his outstanding career as athletic director with Rowan Gloucester.
GEORGE E. KILLIAN AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Awarded annually by the NJCAA national office staff to individuals dedicated to the organization’s ideals of volunteerism, achievement, service, leadership and excellence.
Art Becker – Scottsdale Community College (AZ)
Current NJCAA Region 1 men’s director Art Becker has swept the NJCAA with his sense of direction, dedication and love for collegiate athletics for the last 23 years.
Becker was recognized for his exclusive leadership by the organization when he was elected and served as NJCAA President from 2005 through 2011. A few other notable positions Becker’s held include – men’s region director for nine years, men’s assistant director for six years and NJCAA Vice President for Men for two years.
Darren Pannier – State Fair Community College (MO)
Roadrunners athletic director Darren Pannier is currently working on his 15th year leading State Fair’s athletic department. Along with guiding the Roadrunners, Pannier has taken on extra roles contributing to the NJCAA. In 2006, he became NJCAA Region 16 women’s assistant director and currently serves as .
After two years as the assistant director, he took the reins as the region’s women director in 2008 and has held the position since while still leading the Roadrunners’ athletic office.
NJCAA MARY ELLEN LEICHT SERVICE AWARD
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 retiring executive director Mary Ellen Leicht in 2017.
Thom McDonald – Iowa Community College Athletic Conference
A 1988 graduate of Iowa State University, McDonald has been NJCAA Region 11 men’s director for 15 years. McDonald contributes to the football and wrestling committees, is executive director of the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches Association and serves as chair of the NJCAA DII Men’s Basketball Committee.
McDonald is also the commissioner of the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC). Some of McDonald’s tasks include – compliance and member relations, managing schedules for officiating and conference scheduling, monitoring budget issues and public relations.
John Simone – Mercer County Community College (NJ)
A longtime athletic director at Mercer County, Simone has left his finger prints on the athletic program, athletics institutions in NJCAA Region 19 and the organization as a whole. Regionally, Simone is currently the director of compliance. Nationally, he helped re-write the NJCAA handbook and restructure NJCAA bylaws.
The NJCAA recognizes those individuals who will be retiring from their service towards the NJCAA.
Mary Ellen Leicht – NJCAA Executive Director
NJCAA Executive Director Mary Ellen Leicht will complete her 28th and final year with the organization at the end of the summer. Leicht began her journey with the NJCAA in 1989 as an assistant to the executive director. For seven years, she commanded the position before moving up to assistant executive director. After 12 years, Leicht was named the executive director in 2008 – becoming the first chief executive of any national collegiate athletic organization.
David Archer – Chattahoochee Technical College (GA)
Joining the NJCAA Board of Directors in 2011, Archer has served the organization at the national level for six years. One year after being elected to the office of NJCAA Region 17 men’s assistant director, Archer ascended to the role of men’s director in 2012. His service to the association includes spots on the committees for DI men’s soccer, nominations and elections, and track and field.
Dudley “Skip” Bailey – Monroe Community College (NY)
Dudley Bailey has been a head coach, assistant athletic director and athletic director during his time spent with the Tribunes. Bailey has spent the past nine seasons as the men’s assistant director for NJCAA Region 3, along with serving on a handful of committees. Some of the committees he contributed to consist of DIII baseball, golf, basketball, swimming & diving, men’s lacrosse and DII men’s basketball.
Donna Campbell – Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (GA)
Campbell has spent the last 13 years contributing to the NJCAA as either a region director or assistant region director. Campbell began as NJCAA Region 17 women’s assistant director in 2004 and held the role until 2008 when she moved up a rung and took over as director – a position she’s held up until her retirement.
Norma Carr – Salt Lake Community College (UT)
In 1989, Carr took on the role as athletic director and occupied the role until July 2014. Notable contributions to the NJCAA include serving as NJCAA Region 18 women’s director and NJCAA DI Softball Committee chair from 2002 until 2014. Carr was also co-chair of the Standards and Ethics Committee and a member of the Championship Events Committee. Carr's valued contributions to the NJCAA have added improvements and consistency to the rankings and All-America selections in volleyball, women's basketball and softball.
Stan Feaster – Ranger College (TX)
For the past three years, Stan Feaster – interim athletic director of Ranger – has guided NJCAA Region 5 as the men’s director. Extra duties Feaster took on includes sitting on a handful committees such as DI men’s basketball, eligibility, statistics and DIII men’s soccer. Also at Ranger, Feaster is the assistant to the president of the college.
Lynne Levesque – Brookhaven (TX)
Joining the NJCAA Board of Directors in 2008, Levesque ends her run of service after nine years. As women's assistant director of NJCAA Region 5, Levesque has dedicated herself to a number of bodies in the association, including her role as vice-chair of the DIII Women's Soccer and DIII Volleyball committees. Her other assignments have included spots on the committees for women's golf and DIII sports districting.
NJCAA SERVICE MEDALS
Awarded to individuals who have served for 10, 15, 20 or 25 years as a region director, assistant region director, officer, coaches association president, presidential representative or national office employee.
15 Years of Service
Gary Huber – Black Hawk College (IL)
Region 4 Men’s Director: 2002 - Present
Thom McDonald – Iowa Community College Athletic Conference
Region 11 Men’s Director: 2004 - Present
Region 11 Men’s Director: 2000-2002
Kerri McTiernan – Nassau Community College (NY)
Region 15 Women’s Director: 2014 – Present
Region 15 Women’s Assistant Director: 2002-2014
Jo Ann Rogers – Prince George’s Community College (MD)
Region 20 Women’s Director: 2012 - Present
Region 20 Women’s Assistant Director: 2004-2012
NJCAA Women’s Soccer Coaches Association President: 2002-2008
Michelle Ruble – College of Southern Maryland
NJCAA 2nd Vice President for Women: 2014 - Present
Region 20 Women’s Assistant Region Director: 2012-2014
Region 20 Women’s Region Director: 2002-2012
Jerry Smith – Arizona Western College
Region 1 Women’s Director: 2010 - Present
Region 1 Women’s Assistant Director: 2005-2010
Region 1 Men’s Director: 2002-2005
Tommy Stewart – Holyoke Community College (MA)
Region 21 Men’s Assistant Director: 2007 - Present
Women’s Assistant Director 2002-2007
10 Years of Service
Joel Bate – College of Southern Idaho
Region 18 Women’s Assistant Director: 2007 - Present
Brian Beck – NJCAA National Office
NJCAA Assistant Executive Director; Compliance: 2010 - Present
NJCAA Director of Compliance: 2008-2010
Region 20 Assistant Men’s Director: 2005-2006
Dan Johnson – Southeast Community College (NE)
Region 9 Men’s Director: 2007 - Present
Travis Rybchinski – Dakota (ND)
NJCAA Ice Hockey Coaches Association President: 2007-2017