For the second time in his career and the first time since founding the intercollegiate athletics program at Georgia Gwinnett College, Dr. Darin S. Wilson has been named Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year. The announcement was made by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) on Tuesday.
Wilson, GGC’s inaugural Director of Athletics, has not only guided the Grizzlies to an incredibly successful start since founding the program in August 2011, but is extremely influential within the national landscape of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Wilson is one of four NAIA recipients of the 2014-15 award, which annually honors athletics directors from each level of collegiate athletics. It is yet another honor in an already distinguished career for Wilson as he earned the same recognition from both NACDA and the NAIA previously during his time at Union College in Kentucky.
“It has been my distinct privilege to work with Dr. Wilson during his four years of serving as GGC’s inaugural athletic director,” said GGC President Stas Preczewski. “He inspires and leads within the GGC community as well as within the NAIA. I marvel at Dr. Wilson’s leadership, commitment and ability as our young program constantly receives accolades and earns championships while maintaining extraordinary values and above-average academic performance across the board.”
In his short time leading Grizzly Athletics, Wilson’s drive for an unparalleled student-athlete experience has resulted in tremendous success, highlighted by a pair of NAIA national championships and three conference titles in GGC’s first-ever year of postseason eligibility in 2013-14. That success has carried over into the 2014-15 academic year as five of GGC’s six sports are currently ranked in the NAIA Top 25, with three spending time at No. 1.
Currently, all four of Georgia Gwinnett’s spring sports teams are competing for a 2015 national championship. Overall, GGC’s six teams hold a .719 winning percentage since the program began in fall 2012.
However, athletic success has only been a small part of the GGC mission as each team participates in community service projects throughout the year. Grizzly Athletics’ dedication to service is most evident by the softball team’s NAIA Champions of Character team award last spring. GGC student-athletes have gone to great lengths to volunteer their time at events around the campus and surrounding community.
Wilson spearheads the Grizzly Athletics mission of developing lifelong leaders of character through academic and athletic excellence. He has instilled the program’s five core values of service, responsibility, leadership, sportsmanship and the pursuit of excellence.
The state-of-the art Grizzly Athletics Complex—completed under Wilson’s leadership—has turned into a regular destination for postseason play at both the conference and national levels.
Wilson currently serves on the NAIA’s National Administrative Council as well as the Athletic Directors Association Executive Committee. On the conference level, he is a member of the A.I.I.’s Executive Committee and is the reigning A.I.I. AD of the Year.
NACDA will recognize Wilson at the annual convention in Orlando in June.
Georgia Gwinnett College is a four-year, accredited liberal arts college that provides access to targeted baccalaureate level degrees that meet the economic development needs of the growing and diverse population of Gwinnett County and the northeast Atlanta metropolitan region. GGC opened its doors in August 2006 as the nation’s first four-year public college founded in the 21st century, and the first four-year public college founded in Georgia in more than 100 years. Georgia Gwinnett produces contributing citizens and future leaders for Georgia and the nation. Its graduates are inspired to contribute to their local, state, national and international communities and are prepared to anticipate and respond effectively to an uncertain and changing world.