Ellie Gonso, For The Miami Student

At the annual NCAA Athletic Directors’ Annual Meeting in September, Brad Bates, director of athletics at Miami University was named the President-elect of the Division One Athletic Directors Association.

For the 2011-2012 school year, Bates will lead the top athletic directors from 120 D-1 schools across the country. Bates currently serves as the vice-president and was nominated by the governing board to lead the association next year.

Since 2002, Bates has served as Miami’s Athletic Director after 17 years at Vanderbilt University. The Mid-American Conference recognized his development of the “culture of champions” vision and Miami’s women’s programs with the Jacoby Award and the men’s programs were awarded the Reese Trophy for best all-around men’s sports programs.

“This opportunity that I have is really because of the great history and tradition of Miami and the prestige of the university, which is a by product of the coaching and staff. I’m very honored to have this position,” Bates said.

Over the past seven years, Bates’ leadership has led Miami to back-to-back football bowl game appearances for the first time in nearly 30 years, and has ushered in conference championships in football, women’s cross country, ice hockey, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, soccer, tennis, softball and synchronized skating.

Due to his success, in 2007, University President David Hodge extended Bates’s contract for another five years at the university.

Bates believes his nomination as president of the athletic director’s association speaks to the national prestige of Miami’s athletic programs and the success of his administration.

“It really is a reflection of the quality of people here, including President Hodge and the coaches. My new position provides Miami with a voice through the leadership of our staff and the administration at Miami University,” Bates said.

As president, Bates hopes to address several changes within the NCAA by determining what the conference realignment means and establishing higher goals for D-1 athletic directors.

Football co-captain Anthony Kokal has known Bates for years and says new position is well deserved.

“As a senior leader on the football team, Bates is one of the most engaging, driven, and ethical guys I’ve met. It doesn’t surprise me that he was nominated for this position because what he’s been able to do with Miami’s athletic programs,” Kokal said.

Miami and its athletic programs have consistently ranked among the best D1 programs nationally, in particular with respect to its graduation rates for student-athletes. Through Bates’ vision and commitment to tradition, Miami’s athletic programs have earned a reputation for both athletic and academic success.

“Every time I’ve talked to him it’s not just about how it’s going with sports, he always asks about my classes. He even wrote me a letter of recommendation so that I could get into graduate school,” Kokal said.

Senior cheerleader Christina Cook said that she admires Bates both personally and for what he does for Miami’s student athletes.

“With Mr. Bates, the focus is on the students and making sure that they’re getting what they need. I think he puts students first and I think that the emphasis on undergraduate education translates into our athletic programs,” Cook said.