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NAAC Announces 2016 Award Winners

June 9, 2016

DALLAS -- The National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC) has announced its 2016 award winners, presented by Bluechip Athletic Solutions - Frank Kara Leadership Award – Bob Minnix, senior associate director of athletics, Washington State University; Mike Cleary Organizational Leadership Award Bob Vecchione, executive director, NACDA; Rising Star Award – Taurian Houston, assistant athletics director for compliance, Colgate University; and the Division II Excellence Award Angela Red, Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance/SWA, McKendree University.

The award winners will be honored Sunday, June 12 during the NAAC Convention at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas.

"I want to congratulate this year's award winners and thank those individuals that took the time to nominate deserving individuals for the 2016 NAAC Awards," stated NAAC Membership and Awards Committee Chair Jody Sykes, senior associate AD/chief compliance officer at the University of Oregon. "We commend the efforts of this year's recipients for everything they have done for the compliance profession and NAAC as a whole and we look forward to honoring their achievements at the 2016 Convention."

The Frank Kara Award is NAAC’s premier award. It is the highest honor that may be bestowed upon compliance professionals. This award, given annually, is named in honor of former University of Minnesota Director of Compliance Frank Kara who was a leader in the compliance field and best known for hosting the inaugural NAAC Workshop in 2006. Sadly, Frank lost his battle with cancer at the age of 40. 



Bob Minnix, a NAAC Past President, joined Washington State in 2008 and is charged with oversight of many programs, including the Student –Athlete Transition and Retention Department, the Leadership Program, the Mentoring Program, the Life Skill Program and the SAAC group. Sport responsibilities include serving as the liaison to the football program and oversight  of baseball, men’s golf and women’s golf.

While at Florida State, Minnix oversaw all departmental compliance issues, implemented and directed Florida State's rules education programs and served as the department's liaison and contact with the University's General Council as well as other legal interests. He was directly involved with the strategic planning of long range departmental goals regarding student-athlete welfare and life skills training.

Minnix also worked at the NCAA and is the former president of the Black Coaches Association, has chaired the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct and is a former member the NCAA Academic Eligibility Compliance Cabinet.

The Mike Cleary Organizational Leadership award is named after former NACDA Executive Director, Mike Cleary, and will be given to an organizational leader (i.e., athletics director, general counsel, provost, president, commissioner, NCAA executive) who has demonstrated NCAA compliance leadership and a strong commitment to fostering a culture of compliance to NCAA rules within their organization. 

Bob Vecchione took over as Executive Director of NACDA in July 2011 after serving the Association since 1992 in various capacities. Prior to taking over as Executive Director, he was responsible for orchestrating the growth and management of the Association, both internally and externally.

Programs such as the Learfield Directors’ Cup, NCAA Football, Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year Award, NACDA Daily Review, Disney Institute, Sustainability Award, and the Wounded Warrior Project are examples of those value added membership benefits created under his tutelage. In 2012, the Association developed two initiatives geared toward student-athletes and their development after athletics, the Capital One Fiscal U program and Northwestern Mutual Life After Athletics program.

In an effort to expand upon NACDA’s mission and educational philosophy, 16 professional associations have been created and managed since 1992, each representing a specific business unit reporting directly to the director of athletics. The intercollegiate associations representing intercollegiate marketing, licensing, development, compliance, academic advisors, business managers, facility/event managers, and latest addition, ticket sales, have flourished under NACDA’s management. In addition, individual athletics directors associations falling under NACDA’s umbrella include the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), Division I-AAA, Division II, Division II Conference Commissioners Association,  and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Lastly, the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) complete NACDA’s association management program that can be directly attributed to an increase of 4,000 new members since 1992.  Vecchione is the statutory agent for each of the aforementioned associations. Earlier this spring, NACDA added the NAIA-ADA under its umbrella of Associations.

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

In June 2015, Colgate athletics named Taurian Houston the department’s assistant athletics director for compliance. Houston arrived from Dartmouth, where he spent the previous year as a compliance specialist for 10 months. His duties there included approving all recruiting visits, reporting secondary violations, and providing rules education of NCAA, Ivy League and ECAC legislation. Before his time at Dartmouth, Houston served a year with the NCAA’s Academic and Membership Affairs Department in Indianapolis as a postgraduate intern. He was responsible for handling student-athlete reinstatement and eligibility extension cases, verifying APR data submissions, and coordinating community outreach programs sponsored by the national office.

The Division II Excellence Award is a prestigious annual award for a Division II compliance professional and who is a leader in the compliance field at the Division II level.

Angela Red was named assistant director of athletics for compliance at McKendree in May 2011 and began serving as the senior woman's administrator in June 2013. In July 2015, Red was promoted to the associate director of athletics - Compliance/SWA.

Red served a key role in McKendree's transition process from the NAIA to full membership in NCAA Division II that was completed in the summer of 2013. Red also works hand-in-hand with McKendree student-athletes by serving as the advisor for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

An active member of the athletic administration community, Red currently serves as the Chair of the Division II NAAC Committee, is a member of the NCAA Minority Opportunity and Interests Committee, and serves on the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for women’s soccer. In 2014-15, Red was selected as a mentee to participate in the NCAA DII ADA mentoring program. She also recently served on the GLVC Compliance & Eligibility Committee.

About NAAC: NAAC is in its 18th year and serves as the professional and educational association of senior compliance administrators.  For more information on NAAC, please visit www.naaccompliance.com.  To interact with the NAAC community, please visit naac.nacda.com.  NAAC is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 51st year.  For more information on NACDA and the 13 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com