By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer
Baylor’s athletic director won a title of his own after numerous Baylor athletic teams have brought home titles under his guidance.
Mack B. Rhoades IV, he Baylor University vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, was awarded the Under Armour AD of the Year Award for 2019 to 2020 Tuesday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
The award acknowledges seven divisions and this year’s winners will be recognized on June 9 during NACDA’s 55th Annual Convention at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
Out of the 28 individuals awarded, 22 received the honor for the first time. The organization’s chief executive officer, Bob Vecchione, said he is excited to see new faces among athletic leaders.
Rhoades joined the Baylor athletic force as the vice president and director of athletics in July 2016. Baylor has seen four head coach transitions since then for the football, tennis and equestrian teams. Rhoades has overseen several Big 12 Championship wins and post-season play during his role as athletic director, including: Baylor football Big 12 Championship, 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl and 2019 Women’s Basketball NCAA Championship.
Additionally, he launched 16 department-wide strategic initiatives aimed to better student-athlete achievement both on and off the court, and additionally to better the athletes’ future after Baylor.
San Antonio senior James Greenwood said he remembers when Baylor football was 1-11.
“We have really made strides in our athletic program since I was a freshman,” Greenwood said. “The athletic director and his whole staff has put Baylor on the map for athletics. I never thought I would see it.”
Dallas sophomore Nick Muhlenpoh is a team manager for Baylor men’s basketball, and said that he believes Baylor athletics are on the rise.
“The work that Mack Rhoades and all the coaching staff on every team has bought into this school and into the future of our athletic program,” Muhlenpoh said. “With all of the things going on at this school, it shows that we are growing and will soon be a power-house school in all sports.”