Frontier News
 
Frontier News - Fri, Jul. 7, 2017

BILLINGS, Mont. – July 7, 2017 – Frontier Conference Commissioner Kent Paulson has announced that Rocky Mountain College Director of Athletics Bruce Parker has been named the 2016-17 Frontier Conference Athletics Director of the Year.

The award is Parker's second since becoming Rocky's Director of Athletics in July of 2014, and eighth overall. Parker won the award six times while serving as the Carroll College Director of Athletics, a position he held for 11 years. 

Parker automatically becomes a finalist for the NAIA National Athletic Director of the Year Award, an honor he received in 2005

"It has been an exciting year for Rocky Mountain College athletics," Parker said. "I am so fortunate to be able to work with such a tremendous group of student-athletes, coaches and support staff. We are blessed to have such extraordinary support from President Wilmouth, Executive Vice President Brad Nason, our Cabinet-level Vice Presidents as well as the faculty. Our accomplishments this past school year is due to a tremendous team effort."

"The future looks bright, and we're excited to get started with the upcoming academic year," Parker added.

The award, which was voted on by league's athletic directors, was based upon the contributions Parker has made to the Frontier, the NAIA, as well as his leadership, vision, commitment and the overall performance of the Rocky athletic programs.

"Bruce Parker is an outstanding choice by our league's athletic directors for the Frontier Conference nomination for the NAIA "Athletic Director of the Year", said Frontier Conference Commissioner Kent Paulson. "I feel very fortunate to work alongside ten of the most talented and ambitious people who serve our institutions as athletic directors in the Frontier Conference. Bruce Parker is a true veteran amongst this group who willingly mentors our newer members as well as setting a terrific example for our group in the areas of fundraising, facilities enhancement and program development."

Under Parker's leadership, RMC student-athletes had another banner year in the classroom by earning a cumulative grade point average of better than 3.0 for the nearly 350 student-athletes in 17 sports. Nearly 30 student-athletes achieved perfect 4.0 GPAs. The year was filled with student-athletes on Frontier Conference Academic honor roll teams as well as the NAIA Academic All-America teams.

As competitive athletes, the Battlin' Bears received plenty of regional and national attention this past academic year:

The men's and women's ski racing teams each claimed USCSA National Championships. It was the second-straight national title for the men, and the first time both teams won the titles in the same season. Frida Svedberg ended her illustrious Rocky career, claiming her fourth-straight national championship.

Head ski racing coach Jerry Wolf was recently named the USCSA Coach of the Year

The men's soccer team won its second-straight conference title, qualifying for the National Tournament.

The women's golf team won the regular season Frontier golf title.

The men's soccer team won its third consecutive conference title, qualifying the program for its third-straight national tournament.

The Battlin' Bears' women's basketball team qualified for the program's second National Tournament appearance.

The football program spent time in the Top 20.

Rocky's cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams all sent individuals to their respective National Championships.

Under Parker's leadership, Rocky's indoor-outdoor track and field programs have been upgraded to full event status, beginning immediately. The programs will sponsor all track and field events, except for the hammer throw.

Known as a proven fundraiser, Parker has tripled the number of dollars raised through the corporate membership program.

Parker helped spearhead a three-phase football stadium enhancement project that, when done, will completely change the face of Herb Klindt Field and the Rocky Bowl.

Phase 1 included a $2 million FieldTurf and Musco lighting system that was completed in August of 2016.

Currently, money is being raised to complete phases 2 and 3.

Parker was instrumental in securing the 2017 and 2018 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Championship. This year's tournament hosted by Rocky Mountain College and the city of Billings surpassed expectations causing the NAIA to award the 2019 tournament.

Due in part to Parker's efforts, Rocky Mountain College will host the 2017 Montana East-West Shrine All-Star Football Game. For the first time in the game's history, this year's Shrine Game will be played in Billings on Herb Klindt Field, July 15.

Parker currently co-chairs the Frontier Conference men's and women's golf and football coaches committees.

Parker was honored two times by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics as its Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year for the NAIA; one of the few double winners. He has also been recognized three times as the NAIA Region I Athletic Director of the Year. In 2010 Parker received the NAIA's Award of Merit for Outstanding Service.

During his career, Parker has served on several national committees such as the NAIA's National Administrative Council; the Executive Committee for the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA); currently serves on the NAIA's Growth Panel, as selected by NAIA Chief Executive Officer Jim Carr; has served on numerous NAIA committees including Strategic Planning and Championships; has served two terms as the president of the NAIA Athletic Directors; was the National Administrative Council representative to the NAIA Football Championships; and serves on the Athletic Directors Association board of directors.

"We are lucky to have Bruce Parker at Rocky Mountain College,"  Dr. Bob Wilmouth, Rocky's president said. "Bruce has elevated the student athlete and made athletics a well-respected entity on our campus. We are proud that he has received this award."