UNI's Dannen Named NACDA Under Armour AD of the Year
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Monday 05/14/2014

University of Northern Iowa Director of Athletics Troy Dannen has been honored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) as one of 28 winners of the Under Armour AD of the Year Award (ADOY). Dannen is wrapping up his sixth year at the helm of the UNI Department of Athletics.

Dannen will receive the award at the 49th annual NACDA convention on June 11 during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Florida. The award spans seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS; Division I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior College/Community Colleges).

NACDA Executive Director Bob Vecchione explains the ADOY Award is essential because it highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses and their surrounding communities.

“Since 1998, NACDA has been highlighting the impressive contributions made by athletics directors across all divisions of our membership,” said NACDA Executive Director Bob Vecchione. “This award allows athletics directors to be recognized not only nationally, but also in their respective communities which heightens the awareness of their leadership position in the athletics enterprise.

In Dannen’s six years at UNI, the Panthers have enjoyed an incredible run of success at both the conference and national levels. The success comes not only in the form of wins on each athletic platform, but success in academics, fund-raising, business operations and marketing.

The department’s cumulative grade point average has increased from 2.90 to 3.16 since 2008 and has exceeded the student body’s average at UNI in each of the last nine semesters. UNI’s intercollegiate athletics graduation rate is 74 percent – exceeding the student body’s average of 65 percent. UNI’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) has increased from 961 to 981 since 2008.

UNI successfully generated gift commitments totaling $27 million in the recently completed “Imagine the Impact” institutional fund-raising campaign – which exceeded the institutional target of $15 million by 80 percent. UNI has also seen its commitments to athletic scholarship endowments increase by 300 percent since 2008. More than $4 million was donated in FY2012, up from $2.5 million in FY2008.

Dannen oversaw the successful completion of Cycle 3 NCAA Certification in 2012. UNI’s generated revenues totaled 51 percent of the department’s budget in FY 2011 – marking the first time the department had generated more than half of its budget. In the current fiscal year numbers, UNI’s generated revenues is projected to top 56 percent.

He has negotiated multi-year marketing deals with Learfield Sports (multi-media rights), Learfield-IMG Ticket Solutions (tickets) and Nike (apparel and equipment). He has also significantly increased the non-athletic events in the UNI-Dome and McLeod Center, which has allowed the facility budget to show a 20 percent operation surplus in each of the past three years. In each of the past two years, UNI ranked in the top-10 in volleyball attendance with an MVC-record setting season in 2013 (3,267 avg./home game).

Dannen’s footprint on UNI athletics can also be seen in facility development with $8 million in facility upgrades that includes strength and conditioning center, administrative offices, academic advising area, suites in the McLeod Center/UNI-Dome, secured the lead gift toward renovation of the West Gym for a wrestling practice facility and wrestling locker room/team room, ticket office and elevator to the McLeod Center and a point of sale system for the UNI athletics facilities.

As a result of these areas of success, UNI athletics have thrived on the competition field. UNI has recognized 39 All-Americans, 13 Coaches of the Year and nine MVC Players of the Year. Football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball and softball have combined to reach 13 NCAA Tournament berth since 2008. Under head coach Doug Schwab, who Dannen hired in 2010, the Panther wrestling program has risen to national status again with the only perfect NCAA Division I record (13-0) in 2013-14.

Dannen has one son, William, and three daughters, Emily, Holly and Elle. He his wife, Amy, reside in Cedar Falls.

Winners of the 2013-14 Under Armour AD of the Year Awards are: 




Football Bowl Subdivision

Scott Barnes

Utah State

Thomas Boeh

Fresno State

Dan Guerrero


Jim Weaver

Virginia Tech


Football Championship Subdivision

Rob Bernardi

Nicholls State

Troy Dannen


Sandy Hatfield Clubb


Hunter Yurachek

Coastal Carolina


Division I-AAA

Chris May

St. Louis

Jack McDonald


Kim Record

UNC Greensboro

Eric Sexton

Wichita State


Division II

Kevin Buisman

Minnesota State Mankato

Jim Johnson

Pittsburg State

Joan McDermott

Metro State

David Scott

West Florida


Division III

Thomas Calder

Johns Hopkins

Tim Downes


Tracey Ranieri

SUNY Oneonta

Don Tencher

Rhode Island College



Jack Hank

Our Lady of the Lake

Troy Plummer

Grand View

Keith Spataro


Shay Wyatt



Junior/Community Colleges

Richard Holler

Westmoreland County CC

John Jackson

Dean College

Greg Silcox

Paradise Valley CC

Jack Sullivan

County College of Morris

All NACDA-member directors of athletics in the United States, Canada and Mexico who met the criteria were eligible for the award. Among the criteria were service as an AD 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 AD's institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body (i.e., NCAA, NAIA, etc.), in which the institution could not have been on probation or cited for a lack of institutional control within the last five years during the tenure of the current athletics director.

Nominators were NACDA-member directors of athletics, institutional presidents and conference commissioners. Special Selection Committees composed of current and former directors of athletics, present and past NCAA and NAIA presidents, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the award. A complete listing of Selection Committee members can be found on NACDA's Web site at

Under Armour (NYSE: UA): is a leading developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. The brand's moisture-wicking synthetic fabrications are engineered in many different designs and styles for wear in nearly every climate to provide a performance alternative to traditional natural fiber products. The Company's products are sold worldwide and worn by athletes at all levels, from youth to professional, on playing fields around the globe. The Under Armour global headquarters is in Baltimore, Maryland, with European headquarters in Amsterdam's Olympic Stadium, and additional offices in Denver, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Guangzhou, China. For further information, please visit the Company's Web site

About NACDA: NACDA, now in its 49th year, is the professional and educational Association for more than 10,400 college athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 4,000 athletics administrators annually attend NACDA & Affiliates Convention Week. Additionally, NACDA manages 13 professional associations and three foundations. For more information on NACDA, visit

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