The first “official” day of spring is some weeks away but many of us have been working hard since the calendar hit mid-January. The Championship Series and its many constituents have been as well. We completed the National Flag Football Championships in Pensacola; Wichita Hoops has been chosen as the future site for our National Basketball Championships starting in 2019; and regional basketball championships have tipped off and will continue through March culminating in the National Championships at The Ohio State University from April 20–22. There are so many folks working behind the scenes to make sure all these things go off without a hitch and I want to thank them all.
Speaking of thanks, one way we show appreciation to some of the hard work being done on behalf of the Series is to nominate someone for a NIRSA Service Award or any award for that matter. This year, there were so many individuals who made wonderful contributions to the Series and to intramural sports/sport clubs in general. Huge congratulations goes out to Brooke Turner, David Peters, the 2017 Collegiate Sport Club Institute Committee, Arianne Judy, Gary Cahen, the University of Florida, and to April Flint, Jacob Tingle, and Dan Hazlett for their commitment and dedication to advancing the needle in our field.
Every blog post I’ve written has marked me one step closer to the completion of my term as Chair of the Championship Series. It has been a blast and a worthwhile experience that I plan to elaborate on later. What I want to announce now is that Marty Dempsey, Assistant Director for Facility Operations at the University of Florida, will be joining the Championship Series Executive Team in a couple months. Marty brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team and I’m looking forward to his leadership over these next few years. I would also like to welcome another very important person to the Championship Series Executive Team—that person is Nicole Jackson. Nicole has been with NIRSA since December and made the transition to the sports coordinator role soon thereafter. She has been in contact with some of you and does the important work behind the scenes that makes all of our professional lives easier. Please take the time to welcome her when you do get the chance to meet her.
It also brings me great joy to see that we’ve taken the first steps to developing and creating more opportunities for our soccer officials with a new soccer pilot program backed by NIOSA. Laura Thomas, Assistant Director of Competitive Sports at the University of Alabama, as well as Nick Singer, Assistant of Intramural Activities at the University of Illinois, were instrumental in developing this program on the University of Illinois campus in hopes that others will follow suit and provide our ever-growing soccer contingency with the same student development and experiences of our basketball and flag football officials.
I hope to see everyone at the 2018 NIRSA Annual Conference and hope you feel free to reach out to any of the Series Executive Team or myself with any questions. There is a lot of change for the good happening and we want to make sure we answer all your questions and concerns. We will have our NIRSA Year in Review presentation at the conference on Wednesday, March 7 at 11:00am in the Mile High Ballroom 4DEF and I encourage both students and professionals from all areas to attend. Safe travels!