Rio’s Lanham named to NAIA athletic board
By RANDY PAYTON
Rio Grande Sports Information
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — University of Rio Grande athletic director Jeff Lanham is among those who have been named to the newly-formed NAIA Athletic Directors Association Board of Directors.
The board includes one representative from each NAIA conference, including the Association of Independent Institutions (AII). Lanham will serve as the representative for the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (KIAC).
“The creation of the ADA Board of Directors is a tremendous step toward providing leadership opportunities throughout the country for the Athletic Administration of this great organization,” Lanham said. “I believe this stride will elevate the ADA organization and the NAIA to the next level of Athletic Administration leadership.”
The Board of Directors along with ADA Officers; Kevin Steele (President), Angie Fincannon (Vice President), Darin Wilson (Secretary) and Jeff Bain (Past President) will be tasked with promoting the ADA within conferences, working to provide professional development opportunities and mentoring for ADA members, and recognizing outstanding achievements by Athletic Directors within the NAIA.
“The creation of the Board of Directors is the result of several months of intensive work done by the ADA Officers and an ad-hoc advisory committee to reshape the direction and purpose of the NAIA ADA,” said Steele.
“We are moving toward an organization that really serves, promotes, and educates NAIA Athletic Directors and the creation of this board is an obvious step in this effort.”
The ad-hoc advisory Committee is comprised of Jim Abbott of Oklahoma City, Bob Wilson of Vanguard (Calif.), Matt Sayre of Southern Oregon and Bruce Parker of Rocky Mountain (Mont.).
“The professionals that make up this board are an incredibly talented group and our ability to work collaboratively will prove beneficial to all of our members and the NAIA as a whole,” Steele said. “At the end of the day, Athletic Directors are the practitioners that make athletic departments run. We are committed to making sure that our AD’s are prepared, informed and involved in the decisions that affect the way we do business in the NAIA.”
Lanham is not taking his appointment lightly.
“It is a honor and privilege to serve with a group of talented professionals,” he said. “I look forward to working with the board and passing the energy and vision of the ADA throughout our conference.”
KIAC commissioner Bill Melton said he was happy to have Lanham as the league’s representative on the Board.
“I am delighted that Jeff is representing the KIAC on the NAIA ADA Board of Directors,” said Melton. “Jeff is an experienced AD with a long history in the NAIA and will bring a historical perspective, as well as new ideas, to the Board.”
Lanham became athletic director at Rio Grande in January 2004. He is the son of legendary Rio head coach, Art Lanham, who coached the Redmen basketball team from 1960-80.
Lanham himself was a member of the Rio Grande men’s basketball coaching staff, serving from 1989 through the 1998-99 season.
Prior to coming to Rio Grande, Lanham was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Union (KY) College. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education and a master’s degree in health education from Union.
“We are extremely fortunate to have so many dedicated and talented AD’s in the NAIA,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “An active ADA Board of Directors will provide the organization with an incredible resource as we continue to innovate and think creatively about the ways in which we can serve our student-athletes.”
The immediate work of the Board of Directors will occur in an ad-hoc advisory capacity. The full implementation of the Board and other changes in the ADA will be discussed at the next business meeting of the ADA which will occur at the NAIA National Convention in April, 2015.