Concordia athletics is now in the final year of a three-year process to move fully into NCAA Division II. Here’s a quick status report from Amy Dames Smith, Concordia University assistant athletic director/student-athlete welfare – compliance and support. Check out these three Cavalier Athletics NCAA Division II milestones:
“We have moved out of the second year Candidacy Period and are currently in Year 3 of the membership process. Year 3 is what the NCAA refers to as the Provisional Period where we are expected to follow all NCAA rules and regulations.”
“Concordia underwent an NCAA assessment in October in order to determine our readiness for full NCAA membership. Several key offices outside of athletics were part of the assessment, including Admissions, Office of the Registrar, and Financial Aid.”
“On June 1 of this year, we will turn in a lengthy report to the NCAA Membership Committee which will demonstrate the progress we have made over the last 3 years. Once the Membership Committee reviews our report, they will determine if we have graduated to full NCAA Division II membership or not. That announcement will be made in mid to late July and takes effect on September 1, 2017.”
As Concordia University makes its official transition to Division II, we welcome several new faces to our athletics family. These talented professionals will continue to strengthen and develop the athletics department as we grow and move to the next level.
Joe Danahey joined Concordia in early 2017 after 14 years of expertise as Sports Information Director at San Francisco State University. Prior to that, he was in the sports information department at St. Joseph’s College in Indiana for more than a decade. Danahey is currently a national coordinator for the Capital One Academic All-American Team and sits on the College Division II Management Council. He has assisted with the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Elite Eight Championships and the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships, as well as several California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Soccer and Baseball Championships.
Lauren Eads brings a wealth of experience to her new role at Concordia. Previously, she served as the Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator at Belmont University, a Division I school in Nashville, Tennessee. There, she was responsible for the marketing, sponsorships, and game day promotions for all of the school’s 17 NCAA Division I programs.
Following a nationwide search, Shelley Whitaker was named head coach of the Concordia University softball program. Whitaker comes to Concordia with more than 15 years of coaching experience and 10 years of experience as an athletic administrator. She served as the head coach at Whittier College in Southern California from 2009-14 where she became the all-time winningest coach in program history, helping lead the Poets to five straight 20-win seasons, while also taking on the role of the Senior Woman Administrator. Prior to that, Whitaker was the head coach at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Florida, before being promoted to their Director of Athletics.
Amy Wooten joined the Concordia athletics staff in May, taking on the role of Concordia’s Marketing, Sponsorship, and Game Day Coordinator. Prior to coming to Concordia, Wooten completed her Master’s in Education at the University of Washington. During that time, Wooten taught two undergraduate courses to first-year student-athletes, helped organize special athletic events, built marketing campaigns for social media, and served as an assistant advisor for student-athlete support groups.