Vanguard University Athletic Director Bob Wilson has been named Athletic Director of the Year for 2011-12 by the NAIA Athletic Directors Assn.

Wilson, in his 18th year at Vanguard, will be formally recognized at the 2013 NAIA Awards Banquet, part of the NAIA National Convention scheduled April 19-23 in Kansas City, Mo.

The annual award recognizes Wilson's integrity, commitment, mentorship, education and motivation to student-athletes, coaches and staff at Vanguard.

"When I think of Bob Wilson, I think first of a man of impeccable integrity, deep commitment to the best that the NAIA represents, great loyalty to his institution and programs, and a commitment to mentoring future athletics leaders," said Vanguard President Carol Taylor.

Wilson, who has headed Vanguard's athletic department since 1995, has overseen 57 teams that have competed in NAIA national championship play, including the 2008 NAIA champion women's basketball team.

Lions teams have won 11 conference titles during his tenor and Vanguard programs and student-athletes have collected distinctive honors for outstanding achievements in competition and in the classroom. During Wilson's tenure, Vanguard has had 199 NAIA scholar-athletes and 149 NAIA All-Americans.

Wilson earned a master's degree in secondary education with an emphasis in physical education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He earned an undergraduate degree in both biological sciences and education from the University of Wyoming, where he also played basketball. Wilson has been the assistant commissioner for the Golden State Athletic Conference for 13 years and was the regional chairman in the previous NAIA structure.

"Whether serving as the president of one of the councils, or as a committee member, Bob Wilson has brought an ample supply of wisdom, dedication and energy," said Dr. Dave Holmquist, athletic director and head men's basketball coach at Biola University.

Wilson has been instrumental in the installation of the NAIA Champions of Character program at Vanguard since its launch in 2000. Vanguard is now a Certified Program Center of NAIA Champions of Character, and Vanguard has garnered 10 NAIA Team of Character awards, two Dr. LeRoy Walker awards and two National NAIA Coach of Character awards. Wilson has worked hard to make Champions of Character a critical element in Vanguard athletics culture. He educates his student-athletes tirelessly on important concepts and values, and he motivates them to be persons of good character.

Dr. Cliff Hamlow, commissioner of the GSAC, believes there is no person more involved in outreach and development of the GSAC and NAIA than Wilson.

"Bob Wilson has the student-athlete uppermost in his thinking as he makes decisions for the Vanguard University program, the GSAC and the NAIA," Hamlow said.

— From staff reports