Dr. Darin S. Wilson, director of Athletics at Georgia Gwinnett College, has been named the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ (NAIA) Athletics Director of the Year for the 2015-16 academic year.
The annual award recognizes Wilson’s leadership, innovation and growth within collegiate athletics and the progression of the NAIA and its mission of offering character-driven intercollegiate athletics while upholding the five core values of Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Sportsmanship and Servant Leadership.
This is the sixth time Wilson has received significant recognition for his achievements as an athletics director, and the second time he has been named the NAIA Athletics Director of the Year. He previously received the honor for the 2010-11 academic year for his work at Union College in Barbourville, Ky. Wilson was selected as the Association of Independent Institutions’ Athletics Director of the Year for 2014-15 and 2015-16, and was recognized twice as the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
“I am extremely humbled to receive this honor from the NAIA,” said Wilson. “There are many outstanding athletics directors across the country who could have also received this award. To be chosen by my peers is truly something special.”
The 2015-16 academic year was one of the most successful seasons for GGC. Under Wilson’s direction, the Grizzlies collected a .782 winning percentage (165-42-4), captured two NAIA National Championships (men’s and women’s tennis) and two A.I.I. tournament championships (baseball and men’s tennis), and placed 26 student-athletes on the All-Conference team. GGC also brought home 16 NAIA All-American selections and four coach of the year awards. Of note, two GGC baseball players were selected in the 2016 MLB First Year Player Draft.
In addition, Georgia Gwinnett hosted five of the A.I.I.’s conference tournaments in 2015-16 and served as the host site of both the NAIA’s Baseball and Softball National Championship’s Opening Round.
“Under Dr. Wilson’s leadership, GGC has won five national championships and seven conference titles and has produced 47 All-Americans, one National Player of the Year, and six MLB drafts,” said Dr. Stas Preczewski, president. “It is astounding that a new intercollegiate program can achieve such a record in its first four years, while maintaining high academic and community service standards. Dr. Wilson has established a game-changing culture of winning both on and off the field.”
Wilson grew the GGC program from the ground up as he developed and implemented the college’s athletics operational and scholarship budgets from scratch, and hired all of the program’s coaches and staff. He planned and oversaw the construction of a new $13.5 million athletics facility including new baseball, softball, and soccer complexes, as well as the purchase and renovation of the GGC Tennis Facility just a half mile from the main athletics complex. The Grizzly Athletics Complex also houses a 25,000 square foot administration building with weight room, locker rooms, academic resource center, coaches and administrative offices, and two suites overlooking the baseball and softball fields.
“This honor really showcases our superb athletics staff, student-athletes, and senior administration here at GGC who strive for excellence each day,” Wilson said. “Our staff embodies a servant-leader mindset and desires to give our student-athletes a first-class experience. GGC is a very special place, and I’m honored to work with such outstanding people on a daily basis.”
Wilson is an active member of several intercollegiate athletics committees and groups on a national level. In 2015-16, he served as the NAIA-Athletics Directors Association (ADA) president and will continue his duties on the ADA’s Executive Committee as past president in 2016-17. He currently serves as president of the A.I.I. and is an active member of the National Administrative Council where he serves on the Executive Committee and is chair of the Rules Ratings and Statistics Committee.
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