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UNI's Troy Dannen Named AD of the Year

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- University of Northern Iowa Director of Athletics Troy Dannen has been honored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) as one of 28 winners of the Under Armour AD of the Year Award (ADOY). Dannen is wrapping us his sixth year at the helm of the UNI Department of Athletics.

Dannen will receive the award at the 49th annual NACDA convention on June 11 during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Florida. The award spans seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS; Division I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior College/Community Colleges).

NACDA Executive Director Bob Vecchione explains the ADOY Award is essential because it highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses and their surrounding communities.

Since 1998, NACDA has been highlighting the impressive contributions made by athletics directors across all divisions of our membership, said NACDA Executive Director Bob Vecchione. This award allows athletics directors to be recognized not only nationally, but also in their respective communities which heightens the awareness of their leadership position in the athletics enterprise.

In Dannens six years at UNI, the Panthers have enjoyed an incredible run of success at both the conference and national levels. The success comes not only in the form of wins on each athletic platform, but success in academics, fund-raising, business operations and marketing.

The departments cumulative grade point average has increased from 2.90 to 3.16 since 2008 and has exceeded the student bodys average at UNI in each of the last nine semesters. UNIs intercollegiate athletics graduation rate is 74 percent exceeding the student bodys average of 65 percent. UNIs Academic Progress Rate (APR) has increased from 961 to 981 since 2008.

UNI successfully generated gift commitments totaling $27 million in the recently completed Imagine the Impact institutional fund-raising campaign which exceeded the institutional target of $15 million by 80 percent. UNI has also seen its commitments to athletic scholarship endowments increase by 300 percent since 2008. More than $4 million was donated in FY2012, up from $2.5 million in FY2008.

Dannen oversaw the successful completion of Cycle 3 NCAA Certification in 2012. UNIs generated revenues totaled 51 percent of the departments budget in FY 2011 marking the first time the department had generated more than half of its budget. In the current fiscal year numbers, UNIs generated revenues is projected to top 56 percent.

He has negotiated multi-year marketing deals with Learfield Sports (multi-media rights), Learfield-IMG Ticket Solutions (tickets) and Nike (apparel and equipment). He has also significantly increased the non-athletic events in the UNI-Dome and McLeod Center, which has allowed the facility budget to show a 20 percent operation surplus in each of the past three years. In each of the past two years, UNI ranked in the top-10 in volleyball attendance with an MVC-record setting season in 2013 (3,267 avg./home game).

Dannens footprint on UNI athletics can also be seen in facility development with $8 million in facility upgrades that includes strength and conditioning center, administrative offices, academic advising area, suites in the McLeod Center/UNI-Dome, secured the lead gift toward renovation of the West Gym for a wrestling practice facility and wrestling locker room/team room, ticket office and elevator to the McLeod Center and a point of sale system for the UNI athletics facilities.

As a result of these areas of success, UNI athletics have thrived on the competition field. UNI has recognized 39 All-Americans, 13 Coaches of the Year and nine MVC Players of the Year. Football, mens basketball, womens basketball, volleyball and softball have combined to reach 13 NCAA Tournament berth since 2008. Under head coach Doug Schwab, who Dannen hired in 2010, the Panther wrestling program has risen to national status again with the only perfect NCAA Division I record (13-0) in 2013-14.

Dannen has three daughters, Emily, Holly and Elle. He his wife, Amy are expecting their first boy this June.

Winners of the 2013-14 Under Armour AD of the Year Awards are:

Winner    Institution

     Football Bowl Subdivision
Scott Barnes    Utah State
Thomas Boeh    Fresno State
Dan Guerrero    UCLA
Jim Weaver    Virginia Tech

     Football Championship Subdivision

Rob Bernardi    Nicholls State
Troy Dannen    UNI
Sandy Hatfield Clubb    Drake
Hunter Yurachek    Coastal Carolina

     Division I-AAA

Chris May    St. Louis
Jack McDonald    Quinnipiac
Kim Record    UNC Greensboro
Eric Sexton    Wichita State

     Division II

Kevin Buisman    Minnesota State Mankato
Jim Johnson    Pittsburg State
Joan McDermott    Metro State
David Scott    West Florida

     Division III

Thomas Calder    Johns Hopkins
Tim Downes    Emory
Tracey Ranieri    SUNY Oneonta
Don Tencher    Rhode Island College


Jack Hank    Our Lady of the Lake
Troy Plummer    Grand View
Keith Spataro    Menlo
Shay Wyatt    Westminster

     Junior/Community Colleges

Richard Holler    Westmoreland County CC
John Jackson    Dean College
Greg Silcox    Paradise Valley CC
Jack Sullivan    County College of Morris

All NACDA-member directors of athletics in the United States, Canada and Mexico who met the criteria were eligible for the award. Among the criteria were service as an AD for a minimum of five academic years; demonstration of commitment to higher education and student-athletes; continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence; and the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments. Additionally, each AD's institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body (i.e., NCAA, NAIA, etc.), in which the institution could not have been on probation or cited for a lack of institutional control within the last five years during the tenure of the current athletics director.

Nominators were NACDA-member directors of athletics, institutional presidents and conference commissioners. Special Selection Committees composed of current and former directors of athletics, present and past NCAA and NAIA presidents, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the award. A complete listing of Selection Committee members can be found on NACDA's Web site at
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