Tabor begins search for next AD

Tabor College President Jules Glanzer has appointed a seven-member selection committee to conduct a national search for the college?s next athletics director.

The search committee, to be chaired by Karol Hunt, professor of physical education, is comprised of a cross-section of the Tabor constituency, including current faculty, administrative staff, coaches and former Bluejay athletes.

The committee will immediately begin reviewing applications. Glanzer will select the new athletic director with an anticipated start date of July 1.

The new AD will replace Don Brubacher, who has submitted his resignation, effective June 30.

?Over the past 32 years, Don Brubacher has made many contributions to Tabor athletics,? Glanzer said. ?His basketball teams won 11 conference championships and he coached successful men?s and women?s soccer teams. His commitment and dedication to Tabor over the years has been outstanding. He was a hard worker and had an innate ability to develop players and teach the game.

?Tabor athletics has been successful under his leadership.?

Brubacher, who has held the position since 2000, was asked in January to conduct a feasibility study for a proposed National Conference on Faith and Athletics, after which he was to be reassigned to another position at the college.

?I had hoped that Don would continue to be part of the coaching staff of Tabor, but his passions and vocational aspirations did not match our athletic needs,? Glanzer said. ?What we offered to Don was not something that he felt comfortable with and did not fit into his career plans.?

The athletic director at Tabor College supervises a department that fields 14 teams in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, with an annual budget of $750,000.

The position, which is expected to draw interest from a national pool of applicants, will be advertised in higher education and athletics-related trade publications and posted on similar sites on the Internet.

It also has been posted on the Tabor College Web site.

The successful candidate, ?must possess the ability to administrate a complex athletic department, skills to direct capital expansions, ability to give moral support to and develop coaches, ability to develop networks of support and fund-raise, and be driven toward success,? the ad reads.

In addition, ?Candidates must affirm Tabor distinctives as an Anabaptist Evangelical Christian College and articulate a personal Christian commitment.?

The spiritual component of the athletic director?s role at Tabor is essential, Glanzer said, because faith and sports are intertwined at the Christ-centered liberal arts institution.

More than half of all Tabor students (about 250) receive athletic scholarships, and most others can be found cheering for the Bluejays from the stands.

?Athletics is a big part of the Tabor experience,? Glanzer said. ?I envision excellence both in the classroom and on the playing field. I believe that excellence enhances ministry and therefore we encourage our athletes to be their best in all areas.

?I want the athletic department first to strive to establish team environments that encourage athletes and coaches to grow in their relationships with Christ and with each other,? he added.

This past semester 14 Bluejay student athletes were named to the NAIA All-Academic Team. Tabor has won a dozen conference championships in various sports the past six years, with 10 coaches named KCAC Coach of the Year.

According to Glanzer, Tabor?s next athletic director will be called upon to continue the college?s successful tradition.

?We envision competing for conference championships every year,? Glanzer said. ?And we are determined to field teams that will be exciting to watch, with athletes who are a joy to interact with, and of whom we can be truly proud.

?Our goal is that after their careers are over at Tabor, our student-athletes will go on to become proven, positive and passionate leaders of society.?

Members of the search committee are:

  • Rusty Allen, vice president for enrollment management and former head women?s basketball coach.

  • Eric Codding, dean of student development.

  • Norman Hope, professor of business administration, who certifies the academic eligibility of Tabor athletes through the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and represents the college on the KCAC Governing Council.

  • Karol Hunt, chair of the physical education department, head coach of the men?s and women?s cross-country teams. Hunt was assigned to oversee the athletic program this spring as the college assessed the long-term needs of the athletics department.

  • Bruce Jost, a 1997 Tabor graduate and former basketball player, was director of financial aid at Tabor before taking a position at Mennonite Brethren Foundation last year.

  • David Kroeker, assistant professor of business administration, head men?s and women?s track coach and assistant football coach and former multi-sport athlete at Tabor.

  • Lawrence Ressler, vice president of academics and student development, will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee. The athletic director reports directly to this vice president.

  • Amy Ratzlaff, head volleyball coach, whose teams won consecutive KCAC volleyball championships from 2001 to 2006.

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