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July 18, 2018

UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY
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UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY

Youngsters of all ages spend time on the campus of the Naval Academy each summer attending various camps organized by head coaches of the 33 varsity sports. Academy leaders are hoping those campers find their way into the Physical Mission Center currently being constructed as an addition to Ricketts Hall. This new facility will feature 25,000 square feet of interactive exhibit space and will celebrate the storied history of Navy athletics while simultaneously serving as a testament to the academy’s commitment to the physical development of the entire Brigade of Midshipmen. AD Chuck Gladchuk said the $20 million cost of the project will be covered by donations to the Naval Academy Athletic Association. -Bill Wagner, Baltimore Sun, Read More

UTRGV
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UTRGV

UTRGV seeks an Assistant Athletic Director, Events, and Facilities. Responsible for the management and oversight of all areas of events and facility operations, including, but not limited to Event Management, Facility Maintenance and Facility Master Planning, Food and Beverage Operations, Department Camps and Championship Planning/Hosting. –Learn More

UNLV
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UNLV

The cost of construction for the Fertitta Football Complex has increased significantly, causing UNLV officials to delay building the interior of the second floor until additional funds are raised. UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois said Tuesday that the total cost has risen to $31 million, up from the $24 million to $26 million projected when the project was announced two years ago. The complex, which fourth-year coach Tony Sanchez has spearheaded since taking over the program and touted as crucial to recruiting, is under construction and expected to open next spring. At this point, the second floor will remain left undone inside, meaning the coaching staff will stay at Lied Athletic Complex until enough money is raised. “UNLV has already raised more than 80 percent of the total funds, and we continue to work hard to raise the additional monies,” Reed-Francois said in a statement. “We are only building to the funding that we have committed to this point, and that has meant necessary changes to the design. The two-story, 73,000-square-foot facility will house locker and meeting rooms, a strength and conditioning center, and training room, among other features. -Mark Anderson, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Read More

HIGHER EDUCATION
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HIGHER EDUCATION

The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Dan Bauman, Tyler Davis, and Brian O’Leary take a look at total compensation received by chief executives at both public and private institutions. These data show the total compensation received by chief executives of public colleges and university systems from 2010-11 through 2016-17 and for private colleges from 2008 through 2015. All individuals, including interim leaders, who served in the capacity of chief executive are included. Often, more than one president serves during a given year. Presidents who serve less than the full year are noted. Pay for public colleges is based on the institution’s fiscal year, which usually runs from July 1 through June 30. Pay for private colleges is based on the calendar year, January 1 through December 31. Louisville’s James R. Ramsey was the highest earning executive, being compensated just over $4 million.  –List

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS

Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said he hopes a massive construction project to completely renovate the south end zone of Royal Memorial Stadium in Austin will start as early as next summer. Del Conte said there is much work left to be done, including getting a plan approved by the Texas board of regents at a meeting in August. Then he has to secure the funding from Texas donors. “Our goal is to start next summer, but I’ve got a long ways to go,” said Del Conte. “I have fancy pictures [of renderings] but we still have to raise a lot of money,” he said. Del Conte said the renovations will include suites, a club, new loge seating and a new football building being built at the south end zone. -Stefan Stevenson, Star-Telegram, Read More

July 17, 2018

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
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OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

Mike Holder critiqued Mike Gundy’s recruiting philosophy last month. Gundy’s defenders went berserk. Gundy’s detractors went berserk. Gundy himself? “I knew exactly what he was trying to say,” the Oklahoma State coach said of the OSU athletic director Tuesday during Big 12 Media Days. “It didn’t bother me for a second. Not at all. Gundy said he told Holder as much. “He was very apologetic,” Gundy revealed. “I said, ‘Coach, I know what you were trying to accomplish. You don’t have to worry about me.’ But it’s difficult to say the right thing all the time.” Gundy, as OSU’s CEO, grows them. Some years he must cultivate a little more firmly, directly. The Cowboys have a new quarterback, new emerging receivers and linemen, new leaders and a new defensive coordinator. This is one of those years. Gundy can’t have the desired impact if he is sidetracked, whether by injuries, depth chart uncertainty or sniping with his administration.  – Guerin Emig, tulsaworld – Read More

AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
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AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Commissioner Mike Aresco has announced the hiring of Ryan Kelly as the American Athletic Conference’s Director of Football Operations. “It is a pleasure to welcome Ryan Kelly to the American Athletic Conference,” said Aresco. “He brings tremendous experience at the highest level of college football, including a great understanding of our conference operations. Our football programs will benefit greatly from his experience and skills.” Kelly comes to The American after serving as the Associate Director of Football Operations at Baylor University since 2016. Kelly coordinated all aspects of the Bears’ football program, including facilities and operations, and was the team’s liaison with Baylor’s grounds crew, equipment, media relations, academic and athletic training staff. He additionally assisted in the planning and coordination of all team travel and was the Bears’ liaison with NFL clubs. – Read More

UAB
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UAB

Bonds to support the $300 million stadium and renovation at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex were priced and sold on Tuesday. The bond sale clears the way for the long-anticipated project, which will bring both a new 45,000-seat stadium and significant upgrades to the BJCC campus. Further financial terms of the bond sale were not immediately available.  “The sale was very successful and now we’re able to move ahead with the project,” Snider said. “A bigger and better BJCC will allow us to host more events, provide our citizens with more entertainment options and generate additional economic impact from tourism to benefit our community as a whole.” Site work is expected to begin by the end of this year. The stadium is expected to be completed in 2021 and upgrades to Legacy Arena are expected to be finished by 2022. The BJCC has been working with Populous on the design of the facility. The general contractor hasn’t been named. – Ty West, bizjournals – Read More

UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY
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UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY

The University at Albany Athletics Department announced Tuesday, July 17, the promotions of two staff members to Associate Athletic Director positions as well as new hires in the sports information and ticketing offices. Leslie Moore, the Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities, Scheduling and Game Operations, was promoted to the senior leadership team, and Travis Wilson was promoted to Associate Athletic Director for Business. Erika Kenney has joined the staff as Assistant Director of Ticketing and Group Sales, and John Reilly has been hired as the Assistant Director of Athletic Communications. Moore came to UAlbany as the Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities, Scheduling and Game Operations after nine years in the same position at Bucknell. She is a 2001 graduate of Temple, and she earned a master’s degree in sports management from West Virginia in 2006. Kenney is responsible for maintaining the daily operations of the ticket office, assisting in the customer service of season-ticket holders and donors and is the point-of contact for all groups and group sales.  – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

The Peoria-based Bielfeldt Foundation has committed $1 million to provide updates to the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building and to fund construction of the Football Performance Center on the University of Illinois campus, the school announced Tuesday. The donation to the university is the latest from Gary and Carlotta Bielfeldt, who funded the 1996 construction of the U of I athletics administration building that bears their name and serves as the headquarters for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. The most recent gift will be used to refurbish and complete maintenance projects at the Bielfeldt Athletic Administration Building.  – pjstar – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND
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UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND

Rhode Island and adidas today announced a new multi-year partnership extension in which the Portland, Ore., based company will continue be the official athletic footwear, apparel and accessory brand of the Rams. “We are proud to continue our partnership with Adidas,” Rhode Island Director of Athletics Thorr Bjorn said. “Our goal is to provide our student-athletes with the best footwear and apparel possible, and our partnership with adidas provides that opportunity.” The original partnership with adidas started in 2009. With the new 5-year deal, adidas will supply the Rams’ 16 teams with footwear, apparel, custom uniforms accessories and equipment, including travel bags, headwear, socks wristbands, gloves, eyewear and hardgoods, as well as collaborate on marketing initiatives through the 2022-23 season. – Read More

BIG 12
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BIG 12

The education crisis growing across the country, which was hit Oklahoma hard and led to a teacher walkout this past spring, has caught the eyes of college athletics. Oklahoma isn’t the only state in which a member university of the Big 12 saw teachers walk out due to budget cuts. West Virginia led the march for primary and secondary teacher walkouts back in March, followed by the one in Oklahoma a month later. With the increased issues in education funding effecting the country – especially states within which the Big 12 has a footprint – the conference is finding ways to help out educators who are teaching the student-athletes who are going on to compete and learn at the post-secondary level. The Big 12 is even starting to get hands-on in helping education in its member states. This past week, members of the conference office in Dallas partnered with St. Philips Academy through the Extra Yard program.  – Jason Elmquist, stwnewspress – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
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UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA

North Carolina athletics director Bubba Cunningham has spent nearly his entire tenure dealing with serious NCAA issues, from arriving amid a football investigation to dealing with years of offshoot academic trouble. Now, for the first time, Cunningham is entering a “normal” school year. Those long-running NCAA issues are resolved, freeing Cunningham to focus on improving on-field performance or a facility project costing more than $100 million.  Cunningham’s arrival from Tulsa in November 2011 came late in the football case tied to improper benefits and academic misconduct. The NCAA issued sanctions in March 2012, but UNC’s troubles weren’t over. The NCAA charged UNC in 2015 with five top-level violations including lack of institutional control, then twice rewrote the charges in 2016 — which had Cunningham publicly questioning the fairness of the process. But an infractions committee panel ultimately determined in October that it couldn’t conclude there were violations because the school argued the courses were legitimate and available to non-athletes, too. – AARON BEARD, charlotteobserver – Read More 

BIG 12
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BIG 12

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby cannot yet give a definitive opinion on how sports betting – becoming legal in states like West Virginia sooner rather than later – will affect the college athletics landscape. But he isn’t ignoring it. College sports sit in a “wait-and-see environment” as the aftereffects from the United States Supreme Court’s May ruling unfurls across the country. The Big 12 wants to be as proactive as possible in dealing with it, but being proactive isn’t exactly that easy. In May, the Supreme Court’s ruling did away with the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which limited legal sports wagering to Nevada with a few exceptions. Prior to that ruling, the West Virginia Legislature passed a law legalizing sports wagering in the state, dependent upon that decision. West Virginia’s casinos hope to be ready by football season. Other states aren’t as far along in the process, and Bowlsby is concerned the laws could lack uniformity. –  DEREK REDD, herald-dispatch – Read More

WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY
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WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY

Weber State University Athletics is pleased to announce the hiring of Velaida Harris as the new head coach of the Wildcat women’s basketball team. Harris is the sixth head coach in Weber State women’s basketball history. She brings more than 25 years of coaching experience to Weber State, including nine seasons coaching at the Division I collegiate level, with six years in the state of Utah. Harris is also the first African-American woman to ever to be a Division I collegiate head coach of any sport in the state of Utah. Harris comes to Weber State after spending this past season as an assistant coach at the University of Rhode Island where she worked primarily with Rhode Island’s perimeter players. She was also heavily involved in recruiting. Prior to Rhode Island, she spent six years on the staff at the University of Utah from 2009-15. She began her career with the Utes as the director of basketball operations under head coach Elaine Elliott. She earned a promotion to assistant coach and then added the responsibility of recruiting coordinator under head coach Anthony Levrets. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA
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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA

New USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly went on 620 WDAE’s Ronnie and TKras show this morning to talk all things USF and how his first few weeks on the job have been going. In the eight minute interview, Kelly made one thing perfectly clear: Getting the USF Football Center build is vastly more important than getting an on-campus stadium. Kelly doesn’t downplay the desire for an on-campus stadium, but he recognizes that getting football out of the Lee Roy Selmon Center and into their own facility will not only help football, but will help the other sports that are currently housed inside the center. Some fans are going to be mad about Kelly’s statements, but that doesn’t make it any less true about what this program really needs. Head coach Charlie Strong has also said that he needs something to show recruits and the IPF (and Football Center) is what is best for USF. –  Nathan Bond, thedailystampede Read More

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

One day after Bill Beekman was named Michigan State’s permanent athletic director, his appointment became official. The Michigan State Board of Trustees approved Beekman as the athletic director during a special meeting Tuesday morning. The vote was unanimous in a meeting that lasted less than eight minutes and followed a Monday press conference to introduce Beekman. Six of Michigan State’s eight trustees were present for the meeting. George Perles and Mitch Lyons were not there but participated via telephone. Beekman had been serving as interim athletic director since Feb. 5, when he was appointed to the position by interim president John Engler. That came after athletic director Mark Hollis announced Jan. 26 he was stepping down after 10 years on the job. Beekman has been a Michigan State administrator since 1995 and was a vice president and secretary of the Board of Trustees since 2008. He will remain a vice president but will no longer serve as secretary to the board as he embarks on his new role with no previous experience in athletic administration. –  Matt Wenzel, mlive – Read More

NCAA
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NCAA

Tom McMillen, a 6-foot-11 former Rhodes Scholar, NBA player and U.S. congressman, saw this day coming. In 1992, the same year McMillen voted to pass the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which effectively outlawed sports betting for most of the country, he also authored a book, titled “Out of Bounds,” and included in it a prescient prediction: Twenty-six years later, McMillen’s conclusion — that league commissioners would support legalized sports betting once they were promised a slice of the revenue pie — has been realized. The Supreme Court struck down PASPA in May, ruling the federal ban unconstitutional, and opened the door for individual states to decide whether to allow regulated sports wagering. The Supreme Court’s landmark decision, widely applauded by professional leagues, has put the NCAA and its member institutions in a precarious position. For an organization predicated on the ideal of amateurism — choosing to compensate athletes in scholarships and small stipends alone — pursuing profits generated from gambling means entering murky, uncharted waters, with a new revenue stream that runs counter to the image of purity the NCAA projects. – CRAIG MEYER AND STEPHEN J. NESBITT, post-gazette – Read More

HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY
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HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY

Humboldt State University press release: Humboldt State University will discontinue its football program after the upcoming 2018 season. The move was announced earlier today, after coaches and players were informed. President Lisa Rossbacher described it as an unfortunate, but necessary, step in addressing the University’s structural deficit and protecting HSU’s core academic mission. She also emphasized her commitment to HSU’s Athletics Program remaining in Division II of the NCAA and said that the timing of the announcement would provide football student-athletes maximum opportunity to consider future options. Discontinuing football will bring a conclusion to a program that began shortly after the University’s founding and which has enjoyed many successes. It has had standout stars and some players, most recently Alex Cappa, made the leap to the professional level. Games at the Redwood Bowl have been highlighted by a strong community atmosphere. – John Ross Ferrara, lostcoastoutpost – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA

The company that sells food at Williams-Brice Stadium has applied for a license to sell alcohol at USC’s football stadium. Aramark Sports and Entertainment LLC applied on June 11 for the “permanent” license to sell beer, wine and liquor, according to Bonnie Swingle, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Revenue, which processes liquor licenses. However, USC said it only wants to sell alcohol for the much-anticipated Jay-Z/Beyoncé concert on Aug. 21. The Department of Revenue refers to the type of liquor license requested as “permanent.” Aramark could have applied for just a seven-day permit, which is more expensive. But the company is seeking the same type of license hotels and restaurants need to sell alcohol, according to the application. Should the license be approved, Swingle said it would be valid for two years. However, USC’s agreement with Aramark to serve alcohol lasts only one year, Stensland said. –  LUCAS DAPRILE, newsobserver –  Read More

COLLEGE ATHLETICS
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COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Walk outside the College Football Hall of Fame and onto Marietta Street and you can’t miss it — Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur on a billboard, proclaiming him “Nashville’s next big star” and telling folks to head to vucommodores.com for tickets. The second reaction is to continue pushing an agenda that must be pushed until it becomes reality. So let’s push it again. Eventually the Olympic model will happen, because it’s the right thing morally; because it will allow college athletics to operate virtually the same as it has for decades from a product and fan standpoint; because it’s the only way for athletes to be compensated without massively overhauling a system that does indeed provide significant opportunities for athletes in “non-revenue” sports. – Joe Rexrode, Nashville Tennessean. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA
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UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA

Reaching the Sweet 16 has been good for season-ticket sales. The Wolf Pack basketball team, coming off its historic run in last year’s NCAA Tournament, has passed the 8,000 season-ticket mark for the first time in a decade. Nevada’s season-ticket base last year was 5,931 That 8,000 season-ticket number is for all season-ticket allocations, which includes sales plus tradeouts, which typically includes about 20 percent of the overall number. The last time Nevada surpassed that 8,000 mark was 2008-09 when the Wolf Pack had 8,820 season-ticket holders. – Chris Murray, Reno Gazette Journal. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF MAINE
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UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

Tyson McHatten, a member of the University of Maine athletic department staff since 2009, has been promoted to senior associate director of athletics/external operations. Serving as the chief spokesperson and media relations manager for UMaine’s sports since July 2015, McHatten now will oversee all aspects of the athletic department’s external operations, including branding, media relations, social and digital media, video streaming, ticket operations, event management, marketing and fan experience. – Bangor Daily News. Read More.

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
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OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Four former wrestlers say in a lawsuit that Ohio State University officials ignored repeated complaints about a now-dead team doctor and failed to stop his “rampant sexual misconduct” that went on nearly two decades. The lawsuit describes Richard Strauss, who killed himself years after retiring from the university, as “a prolific sexual predator” who might have assaulted 1,500 or more male students at Ohio State. Athletes who alerted officials about Strauss felt their complaints were futile and that the doctor was above the law in the eyes of the university, according to the federal lawsuit filed Monday. – La Times. Read More.

SWAC
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SWAC

Temporary title game revival? Who will be the next SWAC Commissioner? What will the conference look like in five years? These were the questions that hovered over the SWAC’s annual Media Day Friday at the Birmingham Marriott where head coaches and players from all 10 member schools gathered to unofficially kick off football season. The News-Star and other members of the media talked with Interim Commissioner Edgar Gantt at a round table interview session, discussing the biggest story lines for the SWAC as the 2018 campaign is less than a month-and-a-half away. “It’s been really good exciting time for us as a league and the partnership opportunity that the city of Birmingham has presented us has been really good.” – Cory Diaz, Monroe News Star. Read More.

NCAC
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NCAC

Shannon O’Brien has been named assistant executive director of the North Coast Athletic Conference, and Levi Rex has been named Director of Athletic Communications, it was announced today, Tuesday, July 17, by NCAC Executive Director Keri Alexander Luchowski. O’Brien, a 2008 graduate of Medaille College as a softball student-athlete, comes to the NCAC after serving as the Associate Commissioner of the North Atlantic Conference since 2014. At the NAC, she filled dual administrative and communications roles. Read More.

ARIZONA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
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ARIZONA CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY

Arizona Christian Athletics is excited to announce the hiring of Travis Armstrong, MS, ATC, as their new Director of Sports Medicine. Armstrong started his ACU tenure on Monday after serving seven years as the Associate Head Athletic Trainer at Grand Canyon University. Assistant Athletic Director Peter Dryer commented, “We are excited for Travis to assume the role of Director of Sports Medicine. Not only is he skilled to provide the appropriate physical care for our student-athletes, he is also well-prepared to lead and manage the needs of our growing athletic training department. Read More.

BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE
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BIG SOUTH CONFERENCE

The Big South Conference announced today the promotion of Mark Simpson to Associate Commissioner-Public Relations and Matt VanSandt to Assistant Commissioner-Championships. Simpson begins his 15th year with the Big South in 2018-19. He is responsible for all areas of the League’s public relations and strategic communications efforts for its 19 Division I sports, serving as the primary contact for football, men’s basketball and men’s and women’s golf. Simpson also develops and oversees media operations for Big South Championships, oversees and assists the coordination of social and digital media content, and is involved in the Conference’s television endeavors. Read More.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF
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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF

Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff (CFP), announced today that Andrea Williams has been named the CFP’s Chief Operating Officer. Williams comes to the CFP from the Big Sky Conference, where she has been commissioner for two years. She has been a member of the CFP’s advisory committee and stadium operations team. –Read More

COKER COLLEGE
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COKER COLLEGE

Coker College has named Aaron Beebe as its director of student-athlete affairs and event management, Dr. Lynn Griffin, vice president of athletics and athletic facilities announced today. Beebe returns to athletics after spending the last year as the student success coach for Coker College. In his new position as the director of student-athlete affairs and event management, Beebe will oversee the academic success of Coker’s student athletes, manage all Coker athletic events, and lead the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Read More.