May 2, 2016
CLEVELAND — The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced the 2016 Hall of Fame class today. The list of inductees includes: DeLoss Dodds, Texas; Greg Feris, Wayland Baptist; Jane Meier, Northern Kentucky; Patricia Meiser, Hartford; Joy Solomen, Rowan; David Stair, Evangel; and John Volek, Sierra.
The honorees will receive their awards on Tuesday, June 14 at NACDA's 51st Annual Convention at the Learfield Directors' Cup Luncheon, located at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas.
DeLoss Dodds, University of Texas
DeLoss Dodds has served as special assistant to the University of Texas President since Nov. 25, 2013.
During his tenure as the school's sixth men's athletics director, the program enjoyed some of its most dynamic times. From the fall of 1981 to September 2013, the Longhorns claimed 14 National Championships and 108 conference (Southwest and Big 12) titles in nine different sports, and with Dodds' direction, Texas became a national name. Dodds guided the department in investing nearly $400 million to renovate or build facilities.
Dodds, who oversaw a $163.3 million athletics budget at the time of his retirement, guided the creation of The Longhorn Foundation, the department's official fundraising leg. Before the Foundation was started in 1986, approximately $250,000 was raised annually by various UT booster clubs. In just its first year, The Longhorn Foundation raised more than $1 million.
Dodds' vision for The Longhorn Foundation, which now boasts 14,000-plus donors, was to raise funds invested in student-athlete scholarships, academic services, sports medicine, facilities and other resources directed at student-athlete development.
Greg Feris, Wayland Baptist University
Greg Feris became the director of athletics and a professor of exercise & sport science at Wayland Baptist University in 1990, directing 13 head coaches, 27 assistant coaches and eight full-time athletics staff. He had supervision and oversight of significant budget increases with the development of additional programs, personnel and facilities, adding 13 sports (football, baseball, volleyball, men's and women's wrestling, swimming and diving, golf, soccer, and cheer and dance) and increasing the number of student-athletes by approximately 500 percent.
Academically during his tenure, Wayland Baptist produced 80 NAIA Scholar-Athletes, three NACDA postgraduate scholarship recipients and three NAIA Dr. Leroy Walker Champions of Character recipients.
Feris was instrumental in helping advance the Sooner Athletic Conference in the NAIA. He served on the SAC Executive Committee and on the SAC Membership Committee. Feris is a former secretary of NACDA (2004-06) and served on the Executive Committee from 1995-98, as well as the Learfield Directors' Cup Committee.
Jane Meier, Northern Kentucky University
Jane Meier served Northern Kentucky University (NKU) for 31 years as an athletics director and coach. She oversaw NKU athletics during a time of tremendous growth, helping to position the program for its eventual transition to Division I in 2012. Since leaving the university in 2009, she has served as a senior associate at Alden & Associates, a Division of Spelman Johnson, consulting on NCAA athletic director searches, Title IX assessments, strategic planning, and feasibility studies. She has also been involved with non-profit organizations in the Greater Cincinnati community.
Meier became the first and only woman athletics director at a Kentucky public university in 1988. She oversaw NKU's 13 Division II intercollegiate programs, as well as the cheer and dance teams, a student athletic training program, and a staff of 36 administrators and coaches.
During her tenure, NKU completed four athletics facilities, totaling $75 million in athletics facilities investment. Meier also oversaw the completion of the $6 million NKU Soccer Stadium, the $500,000 Frank Ignatius Grein Softball Field, and the $300,000 Joyce E. Yeager Tennis Complex.
Patricia Meiser, University of Hartford
Pat Meiser arrived at the University of Hartford in 1993 as only the 13th female athletics director at the NCAA Division I level and the third athletics director at Hartford in the Division I era. Under President Humphrey Tonkin, Meiser was named Director and Special Assistant to the President in 1997.
Over her 21 years at Hartford, the athletic teams won many America East Championships and participated in numerous NCAA championships. In addition, many individual student-athletes have earned America East Conference and All-American distinction.
In 2003 Meiser spearheaded fundraising efforts for Phase I of the Home Field Advantage Campaign. The campaign resulted in the construction of Fiondella Baseball Field, a new softball field and the renovation of Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium with expanded seating and concession stands for lacrosse and soccer.
Meiser served on many NCAA, Big East and America East Committees throughout her 46-year career, including Chair of the America East Directors Executive Committee on multiple occasions and is also a Past President of the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (2006-07).
Joy Solomen, Rowan University
Joy Solomen served as an athletics administrator at Rowan University for 26 years, as director of women's athletics from 1986-93 and director of athletics from 1993-2012. Solomen was the first woman in the state of New Jersey to oversee an athletics program with football.
Throughout her career, Solomen had been active at the state, regional and national levels. She was president of the New Jersey Athletic Conference, the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women and the Collegiate Athletic Administrators of New Jersey (CAANJ). Solomen was a member of several NCAA regional committees as well as Eastern College Athletic Conference committees.
On the national level, Solomen was the first woman named chair of the NCAA Division III Football Committee and held the position for three years. She was the second woman to be appointed to the national football committee and served from 2008-11. She was elected chair of the NCAA Division III Management Council in 2001 and served as the vice chair the previous year. Solomen was also a member of the NCAA Executive Committee and was chair of the Division III Women's Basketball National Committee from 1996-98.
Dr. David Stair, Evangel University
Dr. David Stair served as Evangel (College) University's director of intercollegiate athletics from 1982-2014. Under his leadership Evangel added softball, women's tennis, cross country, indoor/outdoor track, women's golf, and men's and women's soccer. He oversaw numerous upgrades to the field house and baseball/softball facilities. As women's basketball and tennis coach at Evangel he recruited the first female athlete to receive a full ride scholarship at the school. His 1979-80 women's basketball team achieved the first national ranking of any Evangel athletics team.
Service has been at the forefront of his career as Dr. Stair has served on numerous conference, NAIA, and NACDA committees. He was NAIA-ADA president from 1993-95, served on NACDA's Executive Committee from 1999-2003, and was NACDA Secretary from 2006-11. He has also served on numerous boards in the Springfield, Missouri area and has been instrumental in leading Evangel sport teams on many missions trips to other countries including China and Kyrgyzstan.
Dr. Stair was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2006.
John Volek, Sierra College
John Volek was Sierra College's athletics director/dean of health, physical education and recreation from 2003-11. During that time, Wolverine athletics burst into the state and national spotlights with state titles in baseball (2008), women's tennis (2007) and wrestling (2007) and a 37-game winning streak by the football team (2003-05). In 2004 under Volek's direction, Sierra became the first recipient of the National Alliance of Two Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) Cup, a program that recognizes excellence in two-year college athletics based on success in championship competition.
Facility development may be the most visible Volek legacy. He oversaw the completion of 1500-seat Homer “Buzz” Ostrom Stadium, a wellness center on the Nevada County campus, and upgrades/renovations to Sierra's gym, baseball stadium, softball stadium, aquatics center, tennis courts, cross country course and soccer field.
Volek was inducted into the NATYCAA Hall of Fame in 2014.
About NACDA: NACDA, now in its 51st year, is the professional and educational Association for more than 15,700 college athletics administrators at more than 1,700 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 5,500 athletics administrators annually attend NACDA & Affiliates Convention Week. Additionally, NACDA manages 16 professional associations and three foundations. For more information on NACDA, visit www.nacda.com.