Picone is named NAIA's AD of the Year
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced today that Lewis-Clark State College (LCSC) athletics director Gary Picone has been named the 2009-10 NAIA-Athletics Director Association (ADA) Athletics Director of the Year. The award recognizes Picone's leadership, vision and commitment to intercollegiate athletics.
"Gary's ability to make big things happen at the local, conference and national level is impressive," said Jim Carr, NAIA president and CEO. "On behalf of the association and the 60,000 student-athletes that compete under the NAIA banner, I congratulate Gary on this tremendous honor."
Picone has had an exceptional career as the director of athletics at LCSC, distinguishing himself among the outstanding athletics directors in the Frontier Conference and all of the NAIA to earn this honor. Picone has a long history with LCSC, dating back to 1972, when he enrolled at the institution and joined the Warriors baseball team as an outfielder. After college and with an exceptional coaching career in the books, Picone turned athletics director at LCSC first from 1992 to 2000 and second from 2006 to present. In addition to his role as athletics director Picone will officially assume head coaching duties for the Warriors baseball team effective Wednesday. Picone will take over for legendary coach Ed Cheff who announced his retirement this summer after 34 years with LCSC. During Cheff's tenure the Warriors won 16 national championship titles.
Success seems to follow Picone whose leadership supported unprecedented heights for the entire LCSC athletics department in facility improvements, exceptional educational outreach to student-athletes, transformational fund raising for athletics and personal support from the community of Lewiston and the state of Idaho. He has spearheaded efforts to raise nearly $500,000 annually which benefited numerous projects including improvements made to Harris Field, home to the NAIA World Series.
"Gary's vision has created a culture of excitement at LCSC that rivals all schools in the Frontier Conference and the NAIA," said Bruce Parker, director of athletics at Carroll College. "Gary is strong, vibrant, always looking to move forward and very loyal to the Frontier Conference and the NAIA."
Picone oversees a highly competitive athletics department that currently participates in 11 sports. During the past two years, LCSC has had 10 sports qualify a team or individuals to NAIA national championships and three years ago, all 11 sports had a team or individual qualifier. In addition to his allegiance to LCSC, Picone represents the Frontier Conference on the National Administrative Council, is currently a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and serves on numerous committees.
Often referred to as Mr. Baseball, Picone helped bring the NAIA World Series back to Lewiston. He serves as the tournament director for an event that last year drew nearly 43,000 fans, the third highest in Harris Field history.
Picone, selected from the pool of NAIA Conference Athletics Directors of the Year, will be formally recognized at the 2011 NAIA Awards Banquet held in Kansas City, Mo. part of the NAIA Annual Convention scheduled April 15-19.
NAIA Conference Athletics Directors of the Year: Scott Fleming (American Mideast Conference/Mount Vernon Nazarene University); Tom Smith (American Midwest Conference/Missouri Baptist University); Donny Mayfield (Appalachian Athletic Conference/Tennessee Wesleyan College); Keith Spataro (California Pacific Athletic Conference/Menlo College); Rob Cashell (Cascade Collegiate Conference/Eastern Oregon University); Dave Laketa (Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference/University of St. Francis); B.J. Pumroy (Dakota Athletic Conference/Valley City State University); Gary Picone (Frontier Conference/Lewis-Clark State College); Dave Holmquist (Golden State Athletic Conference/Biola University); Fran Hummel (Great Plains Athletic Conference/Hastings College); David Stair (Heart of America Athletic Conference/Evangel University); Diane Flickner (Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference/Bethel College); Jill Jokerst (Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference/St. Louis College of Pharmacy); Chad Briscoe (Mid-Central College Conference/Grace College); Rusty Hollingsworth (Mid-South Conference/Campbellsville University); Barry Fried (Midwest Collegiate Conference/Viterbo University); Kevin Milikan (Red River Athletic Conference/Texas Wesleyan University); Norris Russell (Sooner Athletic Conference/Oklahoma Baptist University); Bill Peterson (Southern States Athletic Conference/Shorter University); John Dyer (Sunrise Conference/Vermont Technical College); Steve Ridder (The Sun Conference/Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University); Tommy Sadler (TranSouth Athletic Conference/Union University); Dave Grube (Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference/Cornerstone University).
For additional information on the award contact Dennis Green, NAIA Manager of Championships Sports, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-595-8109.