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Devin Smith named GPAC Athletic Director of the Year

SEWARD, Neb. – Following a big year on and off the playing surfaces for Bulldog athletics, Concordia University Director of Athletics Devin Smith has been voted by his conference peers as the GPAC Athletic Director of the Year, as announced on Monday (May 25). Smith has overseen the athletics department at his alma mater since June of 2010.

“This recognition is a by-product of administrative support and the work of many quality athletic department staff members and students,” Smith said. “God has truly blessed Concordia with people who were willing to sacrifice personal gain for the betterment of Concordia’s broad-based success. It is humbling to overcome challenges and empowering to be valued by our administration while attempting to live out our mission and vision. This accolade says more about the willingness of our administration, staff and students to succeed in God’s eyes than it says about a single person. However, I am extremely grateful and overwhelmed by this recognition.”

In 2014-15, Concordia athletics captured the GPAC All-Sports Trophy for the first time in 10 years and head coach Kregg Einspahr’s men’s outdoor track team captured the school’s first-ever team national championship. The Bulldogs also topped all conference institutions in combined student-athlete GPA to earn the GPAC-Christopherson All-Academic Award. Both men’s outdoor track and field and wrestling won GPAC regular-season championships and three female teams hoisted GPAC tournament championship trophies: basketball, soccer and softball.

Other national highlights included women’s basketball’s advancement all the way to the national title game for the first time ever, wrestling garnering its highest-ever national finish (12th), women’s soccer recording its first-ever national tournament appearance and the softball program reaching the opening round for the second-straight season. Men’s track and field, powered by individual national titles from Cody Boellstorff, Zach Lurz and Josh Slechta, placed in the top five of both national meets and the women turned in fifth and 11th-place national finishes.

Additionally, the baseball team broke the program record for wins in a season and both golf squads set new school standards for team season average. The volleyball program also broke out with a 20-win campaign for the first time in seven years while earning a spot in the GPAC semifinals in 2014. Men’s soccer racked up 10 wins or more for a school record fourth-consecutive season.

Other big individual performances came from Bailey Morris (GPAC women’s basketball player of the year and NAIA Division II player of the year) and Enrique Barajas (GPAC wrestler of the year). Morris is one of 11 Bulldog athletes who have received academic all-district honors as selected by CoSIDA in 2014-15 and the Bulldogs have been recognized with 86 NAIA Scholar-Athletes throughout this academic year for a total of 1,106 in Concordia athletics history.

During Smith’s tenure, Concordia has won a combined 12 GPAC titles (including four conference tournament championships) and has recorded 21 top 25 national finishes.

A member of the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame, Smith received his bachelor of arts in sports management from Concordia University in 1992. During his distinguished collegiate basketball career, Smith piled up 1,659 points and was a 1992 NAIA All-America selection for then head coach Grant Schmidt’s Bulldogs. Smith led his squad to the national tournament semifinals in 1992 after a quarterfinal appearance in 1991. He also was an all-conference and all-district performer in track and field.

Cynthia Smith Huhman
KCNI/KBBN Radio 
Office/Traffic Manager

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