Spielbauer hired as new Central Methodist athletics director

New direction for Eagle athletics

Brian Spielbauer has been selected as the director for the intercollegiate athletics program at Central Methodist, vice president for institutional growth and student engagement Ken Oliver announced Friday.

Spielbauer has worked in athletics administration for more than 12 years and is currently the director of athletics at Presentation College (S.D.) where he guided the school through the transition from NCAA Division III to the NAIA.

As the director of athletics - a new position at Central Methodist in terms of responsibilities but that is a fixture at most peer institutions nationally - Spielbauer will be responsible for administrative oversight for the athletic department's day-to-day operations. He takes over athletics administration duties from Oliver, who served as both vice president and as athletics director at CMU.

Spielbauer will serve as the primary advisor to the vice president for institutional growth and student engagement, oversee implementation of the department's strategic plan, provide vision and leadership in the formulation and implementation of departmental policy, and will oversee the department's financial, information technology, and human resources operations. He will serve as a member of the department's senior management team that provides strategic leadership and direction to the Central Methodist's 15 sports programs.

"I look forward to working with the tremendous athletic department staff," Spielbauer said. "I plan to continue and build on the success the programs have been able to achieve over the past few years, and move Eagles Athletics into nationally recognized and highly successful programs.

"Central Methodist and the athletic department are poised for great success over the next few years due to the leadership and vision provided by the University, and I am extremely humbled to be given this amazing opportunity. I fully look forward to accepting the challenge of the leading the athletics department, and am confident in what the future of Eagles Athletics will be."

During his two years as athletics director, Presentation made the transition to offering athletic scholarships and has produced numerous All-Conference and Academic All-Conference selections. He helped lead a $4 million athletics capital campaign and helped increased the number of student-athletes by 300 percent.

"I greatly enjoyed the interview process, and particularly getting to meet with President (Dr. Roger) Drake, Vice President Ken Oliver, and the faculty and staff at Central Methodist University," Spielbauer commented. "I found the people very inviting and the progress that has been and continues to be made on campus through facility improvements very exciting."

Spielbauer was selected from a pool of over 50 applicants.

"I believe that Brian has a clear understanding of what CMU has accomplished and what challenges lie ahead," Dr. Jerry Priddy, Central Methodist Professor of Mathematics and a member of the search committee, said. "I was encouraged to hear of his vision for advancing CMU athletics in the HAAC and the NAIA. He brings a passion and enthusiasm that feeds into the excitement of the progress the University has made recently. It is an exciting time to be an Eagle."

According to Oliver, Spielbauer's philosophy of an NAIA athletics department matches up with the vision that the current Central Methodist administration has for the future from top to bottom.

"Brian understands the greatness we're striving for in Fayette," Oliver noted. "Winning at the highest level with our varsity athletic programs in all phases: record, academics and in the community while building an environment for our reserve teams that is second to no one focusing on the areas of academics, student engagement and student experience. Brian is one of the brightest and eager young professionals in the field.

"His ideas to improve our community engagement, the NAIA Champions of Character program and fundraising align with the vision of our University administration as well. He understands what it takes to have a successful athletic department in all phases in a small private university."

Spielbauer collaborated with the administrations of Dakota State (S.D.), Mayville State (N.D.), Jamestown (N.D.) and Valley City State (N.D.) to create the North Star Athletic Association (NSAA). The conference has since grown to seven teams with the additions of Dickinson State (N.D.) and Waldorf (Iowa).

"Moving from the newest conference in the NAIA to one of the oldest and most respected conferences in the Heart of America Athletic Conference is also a big change," Spielbauer said. "Both are highly competitive conferences with great rivalries with highly respected leaders, so while I will miss seeing the schools up north, I am excited to form new relationships down south."

Before serving as the athletics director at Presentation, Spielbauer worked at William Penn (Iowa) from 2002-12 as a head women's basketball coach, physical education professor, academic advisor and assistant men's basketball coach. He is also a certified strength and conditioning coach and chaired the major.

"Looking forward, it is also exciting to see William Penn and Grand View (Iowa) joining the HAAC, as I am highly familiar with both schools, having coached at William Penn and against Grand View for 10 years."

Spielbauer's collegiate coaching experience also includes Bemidji State (Minn.), an NCAA Division II school, where he served as a graduate assistant men's basketball coach from 2000-02.

Spielbauer has also served as a member of multiple national and conference committees. He has developed strategic plans for athletic and academic scholarships, recruitment and retention of student-athletes, drug education programs, fundraising and budgeting.

Spielbauer, 41, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from William Penn in 1996. He earned a Master of Science degree in sports management from Bemidji State in 2002.

Brian and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters: Sydney, 10, and Allie, 8.


Posted November 21, 2014