Jan. 18, 2018
CLEVELAND - As student-athlete development professionals who work with many students from all walks of life on a day-to-day basis, often times we encounter extraordinary stories of individuals overcoming extreme adversities. Although the odds may be stacked against them, these individuals have a drive deep inside them to succeed in the face of overwhelming challenges. It is working with these outstanding young people that makes the job of a student-athlete development professional so rewarding.
In an effort to recognize and celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of these individuals, the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) will highlight one or more student-athletes each month for their determination to achieve success regardless of personal, academic and emotional challenges.
To kick off the New Year, N4A is honored to recognize A.J. Newman (Western Carolina University) and Greg Noack (Monmouth University).
Prior to high school, Newman grew up in a situation with little stability, and his behavioral issues and choices seemed to be leading him down a bad path. However, early on in high school, he became committed to changing his destiny and making his mother proud. After earning a football scholarship to Western Carolina University, Newman made the most of his commitment and dedication to succeed. At WCU, Newman became an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Fellowship for Christian Athletes (FCA) all while earning Dean’s List and Chancellor’s List recognition every semester as a finance major in the College of Business. Despite his past challenges, Newman has become a model student-athlete who conducts himself with class and integrity. .
Noack’s basketball career at Monmouth University ended before it had much of a chance to begin. After redshirting his rookie season, his second year was cut short by a season-ending concussion. After an offseason of preparation, Noack was entering a highly anticipated third year until another concussion in preseason practice ultimately led him to retire from playing. Despite his early retirement, Noack remained a member of the team and continued to attend every practice, team meeting, and game. He embraced his new role and became one of the ringleaders of the Monmouth basketball “Bench Mob.” Noack maintained his commitment in the classroom and as a four-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), is currently serving on the executive board.
About N4A: N4A, which has been in existence since 1975, is a diverse educational service and professional non-profit organization. Membership of N4A includes academic support and student services personnel who are committed to enhancing opportunities for academic, athletics and personal success for student-athletes. For more information on N4A, visit www.nfoura.org. N4A is administered by NACDA, now in its 53rd year, administers 17 professional associations, including seven for the separate business units that report directly to the athletics directors. For more information on NACDA, visit www.nacda.com.