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NAAC Announces 2013 Award Winners

May 30, 2013

CLEVELAND - The National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC) has announced its 2013 Award winners - Frank Kara Leadership Award - David Batson, director of athletics compliance at Texas A&M University; Organizational Leadership AwardGene Smith, director of athletics, The Ohio State University; Rising Star Award - Andrew Donovan, associate director of athletics for compliance, Marshall University; and the Division II Excellence Award Suzanne Killian, assistant athletics director/compliance, Cheyney University. The award winners will be honored Wednesday, June 12 during the NAAC Convention at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Florida.

"This year, our candidate pool was very strong and deep for the 2013 NAAC Awards and on behalf of the Officers and Board, we want congratulate this year's winners," stated Awards Committee Chair Jennifer Condaras, associate commissioner for compliance, Big East Conference. "These individuals have demonstrated an unmatched commitment to the compliance profession, as well as their institutions and were deserving nominees for their respective awards."

The Frank Kara Leadership Award is NAAC's most prestigious annual award and is named in honor of former University of Minnesota Director of Compliance, Frank Kara.  Recipients display exceptional leadership and unique vision for compliance initiatives, as well as demonstrating a commitment to furthering the compliance profession through being instrumental in the revitalization of NAAC.

BatsonDavid Batson is in his 14th year as the director of athletics compliance at Texas A&M and 20th year of compliance service at the university.  Prior to his current position, Batson served as a membership services representative at the NCAA national office (1998-99), and as the athletics compliance education coordinator at Texas A&M for six years (1992-98).  Batson has also served in athletics administration at Stephen F. Austin State University and Sam Houston State University, where he earned his MBA in May 1989, as well as his bachelor's degree in December 1987.  Batson got his start in intercollegiate athletics as a Division I cross country student-athlete for Sam Houston State and later served as a graduate assistant track and field coach, prior to transitioning to a career in athletics administration.

Batson's work during the past two years has been instrumental in making the transition from the Big 12 to the SEC a smooth one in the move from one set of conference procedures to another.  He serves on the A&M System Compliance Advisory Committee and was selected as Texas A&M Department of Athletics first recipient of the "Teammate of the Month" Award for going above and beyond the call of duty in serving the department.

The Organizational Leadership Award was designed to honor organizational leaders who have demonstrated outstanding commitments to promoting compliance within their organizations and on a national level.

Gene Smith is in his ninth year as director of athletics at Ohio State.
During his tenure, he has been a Smithgreat advocate for NAAC and has been an outspoken advocate for the compliance profession. Smith has been involved with the association during the review of the New Enforcement Model, specifically with the D1A Task Force on Compliance and Enforcement (alongside Members of our NAAC Board of Directors), and most recently as a visible proponent for the development of the NAAC Certification Program.

Smith, a Past President of NACDA, has also served on the NCAA Management Council, the NCAA Committee on Infractions, the NCAA Executive Committee, the NCAA Football Rules Committee,
among many others. His leadership and vision for our profession has helped to propel the compliance professional forward.  Additionally, he has provided great support to his own institution and the individuals who serve in a compliance capacity at Ohio State. From May 2011 and running through July 1, 2014, Smith will serve as a member of the NCAA Division I Administration Cabinet, which oversees and recommends membership to NCAA committees. He recently joined the Kids Unlimited National Advisory Board, an organization committed to positively transforming the lives of inner-city children growing up in Toledo, Ohio.

The Rising Star Award was designed to recognize young compliance professionals who are considered to be emerging leaders within the compliance profession.

DonovanAndrew Donovan was named the associate athletics director for compliance at Marshall University in April 2013. He spent the previous two and half years at LSU where he was promoted to director of compliance/education and communications in December 2011 after serving as compliance coordinator for 15 months.

Prior to LSU, Donovan served as a graduate assistant in the Compliance Office at Marshall where he received his Master's degree in Sport Administration in May 2010. He earned his bachelor's degree in print journalism and political science from the University of Miami in May 2009.

Donovan is a member of NAAC's Convention and Communications committees and has served as a guest speaker at the organization's annual convention each of the past two years. He will present for a third time at this year's convention in June.

The Division II Excellence Award is NAAC's most prestigious award for Division II compliance professionals. Recipients display exceptional leadership and unique vision for compliance initiatives, as well as demonstrating a commitment to furthering the compliance profession.

Suzanne Kilian took over as the assistant athletics director, in charge
of compliance, at Cheyney KilianUniversity in the fall of 2011, while still coaching the university's volleyball team. She has subsequently given up the volleyball responsibilities to take on the compliance role full-time.

Kilian, a 1992 graduate of Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (DeSales University), is currently working on her master's degree in sports management from California University of Pennsylvania. She currently serves her institution by chairing the Athletic Academic Compliance Committee and is a member of the University Curriculum Committee. 

Kilian has created and set a standard that Cheyney students learned to reach and are proud to achieve. By challenging them and the work ethic they need to succeed on and off the court which ultimately leads to success in their other coursework. She works diligently to correct the past concerns of Cheyney compliance, addressing current NCAA needs based on those past matters, and keeps Cheyney in line from future infractions.    

About NAAC:  NAAC is in its 15th year and serves as the professional and educational association of compliance administrators. For more information on NAAC, please visit www.naaccompliance.com. NAAC is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 48th year. For more information on NACDA and the 13 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com