Dr. Darin S. Wilson, director of Athletics at Georgia Gwinnett College, has been named the Association of Independent Institutions’ (A.I.I.) Athletics Director of the Year for the 2015-16 academic year.
The annual award recognizes Wilson’s competent, comprehensive, practical, innovative and principled approach to college athletics and the progression of the A.I.I. and its mission of promoting the education, development and welfare of student-athletes through their various experiences and participation in NAIA intercollegiate athletics.
This is the fifth time Wilson has received significant recognition for his achievements as athletics director. This is his second A.I.I. conference-level award. Previously, Wilson has been selected as the NAIA Athletics Director of the Year and recognized twice as the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
“Receiving this recognition gives our Office of Athletics a sense of confirmation that we are doing things the right way as we pursue excellence,” said Wilson. “This honor is a reflection of our administration, staff, coaches and student-athletes and the hard work each of these groups do on and off the field on a daily basis.”
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.
“When we hired Dr. Wilson to build our intercollegiate athletics program, we made it clear that academics and the student experience came first,” said Dr. Stas Preczewski, GGC president. “He built an amazing team of coaches and support staff, guided construction of outstanding facilities and led championship programs to very early success – all while ensuring that our athletes are scholars first. This year, 38 Grizzlies made the President’s List and 24 were on the Dean’s List. Our athletes also make their presence known through community service activities.”
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.
Wilson has seen the GGC program grow from the ground up as he developed and implemented athletics operational and scholarship budgets from scratch. He planned and oversaw the implementation of a new $13.5 million athletics facility that included new baseball, softball and soccer complexes, as well as the purchase and reconstruction of the GGC Tennis Facility just a half mile from the main athletics complex. The Grizzly Athletics Complex also houses a 25,000-sq. ft. administration building with weight room, locker rooms, academic resource center, coaches and administrative offices, and two suites overlooking the baseball and softball fields.
While the Grizzlies continue to carry momentum into the 2016-17 academic year, Wilson is preparing for more success at new heights in the near future.
“Grizzly Athletics will continue to grow each year, and I’m excited to see what our staff, coaches, and student-athletes will accomplish in the seasons to come,” Wilson said.
Also published on Medium.