The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) has announced that Tom Rubbelke of Concordia University, St. Paul has been named the Under Armour Region Athletics Director of the Year.
Rubbelke will be recognized publicly during NACDA's 47th annual convention at the Hilton Anatole Hotel on Wednesday, June 27 at the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon. He will also be recognized in the NACDA event program as well as the June 25 issue of Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal (SBJ).
Rubbelke recently completed his eighth year as Director of Athletics at Concordia and has presided over a department that has captured five consecutive NCAA Championships in the sport of volleyball.
As a whole, the department has reached 16 NCAA Sweet 16 appearances and qualified for NCAA Championship play (Elite 8 or equivalent) nine times in 25 NCAA Tournament appearances over eight years.
The Golden Bears have amassed 13 Northern Sun regular season championships and nine NSIC Tournament titles under Rubbelke's leadership.
This spring, the athletic department had two male student-athletes sign professional contracts: Tyler Hendrickson with the Chicago Bears of the NFL and Bryan Lippincott with the Washington Nationals of MLB.
In addition to Lippincott being drafted by the Nationals, he was the two-time Capital One Academic All-American of the Year and graduated with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.
Other notable individuals on the female side were two-time Division II Female Athlete of the Year Maggie McNamara and top-9 NCAA Woman of the Year finalist Mary Slinger, who each competed on the National Championship volleyball team.
While the teams and student-athletes have enjoyed great success in competition, Rubbelke has been able to expand the department to 300 student-athletes with many of the programs achieving team academic awards in the process, with some of the highlights being the volleyball team capturing the AVCA Team Academic Award in 9-straight years to go with their five NCAA Championships; and the women's golf team achieving the highest team GPA in the nation during the same year (2008-09) they reached the NCAA Division II Women's Golf Championships.
Rubbelke also provided the leadership and direction to bring football, women's soccer and the track & field teams a new home: Sea Foam Stadium. The University received the largest donation on record of $5 million to complete the year-round, multi-purpose facility that includes a dome for the winter months over the Sprinturf playing surface.
Rubbelke has overseen and planned award-winning special events for breast cancer awareness basketball and volleyball games, as well as Military Appreciation Day annually at Sea Foam Stadium.
He has been an influential voice in the Northern Sun and an active member of NACDA, the DII Athletic Directors Association, as well as numerous NCAA committees.