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The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) recently announced the 28 winners of the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year Award. 

Dr. Jay Mehfhoff, ECC Director of AthleticsDr. Jay Mehrhoff, director of athletics at East Central College, was among the list of recipients of the award, which was presented June 18 at a luncheon at NACDA’s annual convention in Florida.

The NACDA is comprised of four geographic regions -- Northeast, Southeast, Central and West.  Membership is separated into seven categories -- Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A), Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA), Division I (formerly Division I-AAA), Division II, Division III, NAIA, and Junior/Community Colleges.  One winner was selected in each of the seven categories, with Mehrhoff chosen as the honoree for the Central region in the Junior/Community College category.

“Colleges and universities depend on their athletics directors to be diligent, thorough, transparent, and fair,” said Dr. Ed Jackson, East Central College president.  “Dr. Mehrhoff fits that description to the proverbial ‘T’. This honor is recognition of his outstanding work.”

Mehrhoff has been the Director of Athletics at ECC for eight years and is responsible for the operation of three intercollegiate sports on campus:  women’s softball and volleyball and men’s soccer. He was head men’s soccer coach from 1997 until 2000, and became a full-time faculty member in 2000.  In addition to his duties as athletic director he is associate professor and coordinator of the Fitness Center. 

Under his leadership the college has won seven NJCAA Region XVI Titles and three Midwest Community College Athletic Conference Championships. Men's soccer finished third in NJCAA Division 1 in 2003 and women's volleyball made three straight trips to the NJCAA Division II Nationals in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  While at the helm as athletics director, East Central College has enjoyed having seven NJCAA All-Americans and 11 NJCAA Academic All-Americans.

Mehrhoff completed his undergraduate studies in physical education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis where he played on the men's soccer team.  He went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.   He received his doctorate from the United States Sports Academy in Alabama.

Mehrhoff has been active in the Midwest Community College Athletic Conference, having served as president for the past six years. He is currently an executive committee member for the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA), and was named NJCAA Region 16 men’s assistant director for 2011-12.

Mehrhoff resides in suburban St. Louis with his wife, Kate, and two children, Matthew and Leah.

Criteria for the NACDA award included service as an athletic director for a minimum of five academic years, demonstration of commitment to higher education and student athletes, continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence, and the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments. Additionally, each honoree’s institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body.

According to NACDA Executive Director Mike Cleary, the Athletics Director of the Year Award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to campuses and their surrounding communities.  "The program brings to light the exceptional jobs done by athletics directors across the country,” said Cleary.  “These 28 winners exemplify that, providing us with a group of outstanding people who excel at their jobs."

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