Calvin Selected to Host NCAA III Finals in Women’s Basketball & Women’s Volleyball in 2015 & 2017
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The NCAA has awarded NCAA III women’s basketball and women’s volleyball championships to the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan for the 2014-18 seasons.
Calvin College will host the following championships:
Women’s Basketball / 2015
Women’s Volleyball / 2015
Women’s Basketball / 2017
Women’s Volleyball / 2017
This will mark the first time since 1988 that Calvin has hosted an NCAA III Championship final. Calvin hosted the NCAA III Finals in men’s basketball from 1982-to-1988 at the Calvin College Fieldhouse. In 1977, Calvin also hosted the NCAA III Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships. In 1986, Calvin hosted the NCAA III Finals in women’s volleyball.
“It is with a great amount of humility and honor that we accept these bids,” said Calvin’s Director of Women’s Athletics Dr. Nancy Meyer. “I know that our entire campus community is looking forward to putting together a championship level experience for the teams and fans that will visit our campus for these championship events. We have wonderful facilities and a great staff at Calvin College that will make these championship events special ones.”
Calvin’s Director of Men’s Athletics Dr. Jim Timmer is confident that Calvin will be up to the task in hosting the championships in the coming years. “Growing up, I was around Calvin when we hosted the NCAA III Finals in men’s basketball and I was always struck but how the Calvin community rallied together to put on a wonderful event and how much the athletes, teams and fans appreciated it. I think this will also be a wonderful opportunity to showcase the city of Grand Rapids. The West Michigan Sports Commission has already pledged support in assisting us in hosting these championship events and that will only enhance our role in showcasing our city.”
According to the NCAA, Calvin’s successful championship bids were part of a competitive bidding process.
“We really want to thank everyone who put in a bid,” said Mark Lewis, NCAA executive vice president of championships and alliances. “The competitiveness of the bids made it extremely difficult for the sport committees to select sites as there just weren’t spots for all of the great bids we received. Ultimately the sites that were selected will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans the best experience possible.”
The new NCAA championship bid process creates the largest host site announcement ever, spanning 82 championships across a four-year cycle. Previously, selection announcements varied by sport. This process now gives the NCAA and host sites more time to plan each championship experience.
Bidding for 82 of 89 NCAA championships began in July and 1,984 bid applications were ultimately submitted. Each sport committee, per division, selected the host sites it believed would provide the ultimate experience for the respective student-athletes, resulting in 523 total championship event sites awarded. The seven championships not included in the process due to preexisting site arrangements are: Division I baseball, Division I men’s basketball, Division I football, Division I men’s and women’s golf, Division I softball and Division III women’s ice hockey.
For more information on all of the NCAA championship sites awarded, log on to http://www.ncaa.com/site-selections.
MIAA Commissioner David Neilson to Retire at Conclusion of 2013-14 Academic Year
ALBION, Mich. – David L. Neilson, the commissioner of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association since 2002, has announced he will retire from the position at the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year.
The announcement of Commissioner Neilson’s retirement came Tuesday from Dr. Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran, president of Kalamazoo College and vice chairwoman of the MIAA Presidents’ Council. He is the eighth and third-longest serving commissioner in the MIAA’s 126-year history.
Calvin’s Director of Men’s Athletics Dr. Jim Timmer, and Calvin Director of Women’s Athletics Dr. Nancy Meyer, also offered words of thanks and congratulations to Neilson for his years of service to the MIAA.
“Dave has been a strong proponent of the Division III philosophy, emphasizing academics and athletics,” said Timmer. “He has always had a strong passion for the MIAA and for the student-athletes in our conference. His commitment to our league and to our student-athletes has been exemplary. I congratulate him for 12 wonderful years of service to the MIAA.”
Meyer concurred. “Dave has been an outstanding leader for our conference and for Division III athletics,” said Meyer. “He has been a strong advocate for the ideals of what a student-athlete should be at the NCAA Division III level. We are grateful for his service and congratulate him on a job well done.”
According to Neilson, the feeling is mutual.
“These last 12 years have been a labor of love for me, and I will always regard this position as the highlight of my professional career,” Commissioner Neilson said. “I have been blessed in being able to represent the nine great institutions that comprise the nation’s oldest collegiate athletic conference.”
Commissioner Neilson has been a highly visible presence on MIAA campuses and in NCAA Division III athletics during his tenure. He has been a member of the NCAA Division III Commissioner’s Association for 12 years and was a founding board member of the association’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Committee. He has also been a member of the NCAA Division III Strategic Planning and Finance Committee for six years, making him the committee’s longest-serving member.
“Dave Neilson has brought not only a passion for intercollegiate athletics, but also professionalism, fairness, and deep respect for the academic mission of the member schools in his role as MIAA commissioner,” Dr. Wilson-Oyelaran said. “He has been a tireless advocate for our student-athletes and will be sorely missed.”
Under Commissioner Neilson’s leadership, highlights included:
- Increased recognition of student-athlete academic achievement and the introduction of the Sheila Wallace Kovalchik and Albert L. Deal Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented to the MIAA’s outstanding female and male senior scholar-athletes each spring;
- Greater focus on student-athlete well-being protocols and implementation of a conference-based MRSA prevention program;
- Standardization of conference championship and NCAA tournament Automatic Qualification (AQ) determinants;
- The addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse as MIAA championship sports during 2012-13 season.
Commissioner Neilson’s involvement in intercollegiate athletics dates back to his days as a student-athlete at MIAA member Albion College. He lettered in football for four years at Albion and twice earned All-MIAA honors as quarterback for the Britons before graduating in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education and economics. He earned All-American honors in his senior year and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League.
Prior to joining the MIAA, Commissioner Neilson had a successful career in the automotive industry for more than 30 years, most of them at Rockwell International. He launched manufacturing businesses in both North America and Europe, as well as engineering joint business ventures in Japan. He was instrumental in the launch of air bags as standard production equipment in automobiles in the 1990s.
Commissioner Neilson has coached most sports that the MIAA sponsors, including baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, football, cross country, basketball and track and field. He coached at Shady Side Academy Prep in Pittsburgh, Pa. and at the American School in London, England. He also served as president of the London Baseball Association while living in England.
Commissioner Neilson and his wife, Karen, live in Royal Oak. They have four children and five grandchildren.
The MIAA is the nation’s oldest collegiate athletic conference, founded in 1888. The MIAA consists of nine private colleges from Michigan and northern Indiana. Member institutions are Adrian College, Albion College, Alma College, Calvin College, Hope College, Kalamazoo College, Olivet College, Saint Mary’s College and Trine University.
Calvin Women’s Soccer Team Cracks Final Division III Top 25 Polls
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The Calvin women’s soccer team has finished ranked in a pair of final season-ending national polls. Calvin is ranked 22nd in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III Top 25 post-season poll.
Under the direction of head coach Mark Recker, the Knights finished the 2013 season with an overall record of 19-3-2. Calvin captured the MIAA regular season title with a 13-2-1 conference mark and then won the league tournament for the second straight year, defeating Adrian and Hope in tournament play. Calvin also advanced to the NCAA III Tournament for the second straight year and for the eighth time in the last nine years.