Gillin earns honor

Appalachian State Athletic Director Doug Gillin reacts to a football game played at Kidd Brewer Stadium. He and his staff at App State are looking for ways to cut expenses in light of recent events.

BOONE — Appalachian State Director of Athletics Doug Gillin has been named a national Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year for 2019-20, announced March 3 by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

Gillin, in his fifth year overseeing App State’s athletics department, is one of four AD of the Year Award recipients at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics — the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision. This year’s other recipients are North Carolina’s Bubba Cunningham, SMU’s Rick Hart and Baylor’s Mack Rhoades.

The AD of the Year Award highlights the efforts of college athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses and their surrounding communities.

“The future of our industry continues to look bright with athletics leaders like these at the helm of departments across the country,” Bob Vecchione, NACDA Chief Executive Officer said in a statement. “Out of our 28 ADOY winners, 22 are receiving this honor for the first time in their careers. It is exciting and inspiring to see the new faces coming up through the ranks and earning well-deserved recognition for their efforts on their campuses.”

The awards span seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS, Division I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior College/Community Colleges). Winners will be recognized on Tuesday, June 9, during NACDA’s 55th Annual Convention at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

App State enjoyed a historic year in 2019, from record-breaking academic success to unprecedented on-field success to nationally ranked community service involvement. Among of the most noteworthy accomplishments of the Mountaineers under Gillin’s watch last year include:

— Fall 2019 marked the 15th consecutive semester that App State student-athletes achieved a collective 3.0 grade point average. The cumulative GPA of 3.16 and semester GPA of 3.17 either matched or surpassed the highest on record at App State. Appalachian led all Sun Belt institutions with a school-record 14 (of 18) programs receiving a perfect 1,000 APR score in May 2019 following the 2017-18 cycle.

— The App State football team had a historic 2019 season, going 13-1 with road wins over the ACC’s North Carolina and SEC’s South Carolina, a fourth straight Sun Belt Championship and fifth straight bowl victory.

It was the first 13-win season for a Sun Belt team or an FBS team from North Carolina. The team’s final rankings of No. 18 in the Coaches Poll and No. 19 in the AP Poll are the highest in Sun Belt and school history.

— Championships won in 2019 included Southern Conference wrestling, Women’s Basketball Invitational, Sun Belt women’s tennis, Sun Belt men’s cross country and Sun Belt football.

— Construction began on a $50 million multi-purpose end zone facility at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The facility is on schedule to open in fall 2020.

Former App State AD Charlie Cobb was a 2010-11 recipient of the award at the NCAA FCS level.

Past winners from other North Carolina FBS institutions include Lee Fowler, NC State (2009-10); Ron Wellman, Wake Forest (2002-03 and 2007-08); Kevin White, Duke (2012-13); and Debbie Yow, NC State (2018-19).

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