May 26, 2010
Montgomery, Ala. - Over the past several years, Shorter College Athletics has embraced a goal of overall excellence, an aspiration that has led to plenty of success on the playing fields.
On Tuesday, that goal extended past the realm of on-field competition.
At the conference end-of-year banquet last night in Montgomery, Ala., Shorter earned a near sweep of the Southern States Athletic Conference administrative awards, as Bill Peterson won SSAC Athletic Director of the Year honors, Josh Tucker snagged SSAC Athletic Trainer of the Year accolades and Matt Green was named SSAC Sports Information Director of the Year.
It was the first award for each individual and hinted at Shorter's recent upward trend of athletic success.
"I am certainly humbled as to this award and really see it as a reflection of our entire department," Peterson said of receiving the AD of the Year honor. "We definitely feel that Shorter has an athletic program that is on the rise. We have great support from our Board, our President and our faculty.
"We also have a great group of student-athletes along with some of the best coaches and staff members in the country."
Peterson, in the midst of his third year as Shorter's Director of Athletics, has set a clear course for making Shorter one of the top athletic programs in the country.
Since being named Director of Athletics on March 26, 2007, Peterson's decisions and expertise have produced a wave of firsts in a number of programs - including a pair of team national championships and three individual national championships - while also leading Shorter to top 30 finishes in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Directors' Cup each year.
In just the last two seasons, Shorter has won 13 team conference championships, captured a host of individual conference titles and taken home two team national championships and two individual national championships.
Shorter has been just as successful off the field over the past two years, placing over 140 athletes on their respective All-Academic teams, having over 30 athletes named NAIA Scholar-Athletes and winning the last two SSAC Female Honor Student-Athlete awards, with Becca Thomas winning in 2009 and Whitni Tucker claiming the award in 2010.
Peterson has also been instrumental in other projects that have been beneficial to the Rome community at-large, including securing the bid for the 2008, 2009 and 2010 NAIA Football National Championships held at Rome's Historic Barron Stadium.
Shorter has hosted several SSAC Championship events and in the fall of 2010, will introduce the only four-year, varsity collegiate wrestling program in the Southeast, a region that includes Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
"Coach Peterson is as impressive an individual as I have had the privilege of being around," said Shorter head men's basketball coach Chad Warner. "There are many blessings in working at Shorter College, none greater than working for Coach Peterson. He is a friend, a father figure and mentor to me."
Tucker, an employee of Floyd Sports Medicine, has worked with Shorter College on a full-time basis since 2004.
Tucker's primary responsibilities at Shorter include working with the Hawk and Lady Hawk soccer teams as well as volleyball, baseball and the competitive cheerleading squads.
"Josh does a great job communicating with all players and each coaching staff in a professional way that allows all health related issues to be handled in the most timely and least stressful way possible," said Shorter head men's soccer coach Josh Severns, who has worked with Tucker since his arrival on the Hill. "He is especially strong at bringing players back physically and mentally to meet the demands of college competition."
Tucker's expertise has been valuable to fostering the excellent relationship between Shorter's athletes and its comprehensive sports medicine program that consists of athletic trainers from Floyd Medical and team doctors from Harbin Clinic.
"We feel particularly blessed to work with an outstanding group of trainers provided to us by Floyd Medical," said Peterson. "Josh has done a great job with our student-athletes and we feel that they receive the best medical care possible."
Green is coming up on the completion of his first year with the Shorter athletic program after coming to Rome from his alma mater of Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville, Va.
The Richmond, Va., native serves as the primary media and marketing contact for the Shorter athletic department and maintains the College's athletic website.
"I was especially pleased to see Matt Green recognized for his contribution as our Sports Information Director," said Peterson. "We believe that Matt is one of the best in the NAIA and this award from the SSAC certainly supports that belief.
"There is no doubt that Matt is one of the hardest working SID's around and the job he is doing has certainly elevated our entire athletic program."
Each year, the Southern States Athletic Conference votes on administrative awards that include Athletic Director of the Year, Athletic Trainer of the Year, SID of the Year and Men's and Women's Head Coach of the Year.