Athletic Directors Gear Up For NACDA Convention

By Ken Kerschbaumer

More than 2,500 collegiate athletic directors and 300 exhibitors will be gathering at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort from June 18-21 as the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics association holds its annual convention.

Mike Cleary, NACDA executive director, is happy with the turnout as athletic departments grabble with the current economic climate. And while some departments won’t be sending as many attendees as they did in previous years (current registration levels are 15% off from last year) the important decision makers are on board and the program will ensure attendees leave with new ideas.

“Athletic directors are all looking at ways to squeeze the dollar and yet run a quality program,” says Cleary. “All the breakout sessions will be focused on nuts and bolts issues and will cover topics of interest for everyone that works in the department.”

Despite the economy NACDA’s convention will have a record number of exhibitors, coming a long way from 11 tabletops 44 years ago.

This year’s program will also be highlighted by the John McLendon Minority Athletics Administrators Hall of Fame induction reception on June 19. This year’s honorees include Bob Watson, MLB VP of Operationswill also honor Alvin Attles, Golden State Warriors Ambassador and Legend; Anita DeFrantz, the first African-American and first American woman to serve on the International Olympic Committee (IOC); Dr. Bernard Franklin, NCAA Executive Vice President on NCAA Membership and Student-Athlete Affairs and Past President of three HBCU’s; Willie O’Ree, the NHL’s Director of Youth Development for Diversity Programming and the first black player in the League; Gale Sayers, the first black Division I athletics director at Southern Illinois University; and Gene Washington, the NFL’s Director of Football Operations and first black quarterback at Stanford. NACDA Past President and former Georgia Athletics Director Vince Dooley will be the recipient of the 2nd Annual Bud Selig Mentoring Award.

Keynote speeches include “Utilizing Positive Communication with Your Staff When Dealing with a Conflict Situation” by Major General Vincent Brooks, United States Military Academy and a keynote address from Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, United States Navy.

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