Sunday, September 28, 2008

Carpenter named NAIA AD of the Year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced today that Lee University (Tenn.) Athletics Director (AD) Larry Carpenter has been named the 2007-08 NAIA-Athletics Director Association (ADA) Athletics Director of the Year. The award recognizes Carpenter’s leadership, impeccable integrity and boundless energy for college athletics.

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“The NAIA congratulates Larry (Carpenter) on this award and applauds his work to advance character driven intercollegiate athletics. Larry’s service to college athletics on the school, conference, region and national level is admirable and is highlighted by many awards and accolades,” said NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr. “Larry is a wonderful advocate for the NAIA and I thank him for his years of service.”

Carpenter has served the Lee University athletics department since the late 1970s. Throughout his time at Lee he has held coaching and administrative posts taking over as athletics director in 1995.

Under Carpenter’s leadership Lee University has earned the Commissioner’s Cup for three straight years and recorded seven conference championships in the highly competitive Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). Carpenter’s long list of honors include induction into the Lee University Athletics Hall of Fame, SSAC and TranSouth Athletic Conference AD of the Year awards, NAIA Region XI AD of Year award and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics AD of the Year for the NAIA Southeast Region award.

”I am deeply grateful and humbled by this prestigious award,” said Carpenter. “There are so many deserving athletics directors in the NAIA and to be chosen by your peers makes this really special. I’m blessed to work at an institution that believes in and supports athletics. This award would not be possible without the hard work of an outstanding group of coaches and staff. I often tell people that there’s never been a day that I’ve dreaded coming to work and few people are able to say that.”

Carpenter has been an instrumental leader on the local, regional and national levels while assisting numerous committees. Carpenter served as the chair of NAIA Region XIII, member of the NAIA Direct Qualification Task Force, president of the NAIA-ADA, member of the Council of Athletic Administrators, and NAIA-Council of Affiliated Conferences and Independents and vice president of the TranSouth Athletic Conference. Carpenter currently serves on the NAIA National Administrative Council.

“It is very rare to find an employee that can quickly demand the respect of their peers, parents and administration,” said Gary Ray, Lee University Vice President for Administration. “Larry’s approach begins with a level of concern and care that easily breaks down walls to help athletics to be considered a great asset for Lee University.”

The athletics department at Lee has developed into one of the premier programs in the SSAC and NAIA. Lee teams continue to dominate conference championships and teams are consistently ranked among the nation’s top in nearly all sports.
Within the SSAC, Lee University has hosted nine conference tournaments, a regional and a super regional tournament during the past three years. Carpenter and his team have taken a tremendous amount of time to host these events ultimately creating memorable student-athlete experiences. Carpenter oversees 13 intercollegiate sports with a staff of 30 and continually educates his department on NAIA standards and promotes the NAIA’s flagship program Champions of Character.

During his tenure, Lee University has constructed new baseball and softball facilities, added a hitting cage and artificial infield to the baseball complex, added lights and a press box for the soccer facility and renovated Walker Arena. Over the past five years Carpenter and the Lee University athletics department has improved its number of national championship tournament appearances greatly.

Ten of 12 teams participated in a national championship event in 2006-07 and six teams in 2007-08. Off the field Carpenter and Lee University have set academic standards and for the past seven years student-athletes have had a higher GPA and graduation rate than the general student body. In addition, student-athletes carry an overall GPA in excess of a 3.00 with a high of 3.20 during the 2002-2003 school year.

Carpenter will be recognized for the NAIA-ADA Athletics Director of the Year award at the 2009 NAIA Awards Banquet held in Kansas City, Mo. as part of the 2009 NAIA Annual Convention scheduled April 17-21, 2009. For additional information on the award contact Ruth Stein, NAIA Manager of Championships Sports, at rstein@naia.org or 816-595-8108.

Blog courtesy of Sports Information

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