NEW ALBANY, Ind. – Indiana University Southeast Director of Athletics Joe Glover has held a variety of leadership positions throughout his career in collegiate athletics, but his most unique challenge may be upcoming.
At the end of June he will take over as President of the NAIA Athletics Directors Association (NAIA-ADA) and will guide the group through the uncertainty of collegiate athletics in the world of COVID-19.
“During these unprecedented times in our profession, it is more important than ever that we join together as colleagues to share ideas and to help each other continue to grow and advance for the benefit of our student-athletes, coaches and universities,” stated Joe Glover. “I’m excited to lead such amazing group of leaders in the NAIA, and I look forward to making sure the NAIA-ADA continues to serve the ever-changing needs of our members.”
The purpose of the NAIA-ADA is to promote the development and welfare of intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the educational program of higher education, and to foster the professional growth of university officials charged with the responsibilities of coordinating athletic programs; namely the director of intercollegiate athletics.
Glover joined the NAIA-ADA’s executive board in 2017 and rotated through the three vice president positions before assuming his new role as president for the 2020-21 academic year.
One of the accomplishments that Glover cites as a highlight of his time on the board is a legislative proposal to help ensure student-athletes were compensated for their image and likeness. This legislation passed a year ago and the NCAA is considering similar legislation for future years.
“We really fought hard to say, ‘Hey, look, our student athletes shouldn’t be held to a stricter standard than all of our other students are,’ Glover said. “We wanted to find a pathway that allowed them to be able to be able to take care of themselves, just like any other student would be able to.”
This year, giving the athletic directors a voice while key decisions are made regarding COVID-19 is a major task for Glover and the NAIA-ADA.
“The first goal is to be a voice of our association to make sure that our association has a voice at the table for many decisions that are happening right now related to COVID-19 and what our future is going to look like as athletic directors and institutions” Glover said. “The Council of Presidents of the NAIA have a lot of the decision-making authority as it comes to COVID-19, but we want to make sure that we’re a voice as an association, helping them and guiding them and providing information to them that might be helpful.”
Dr. Kiki Baker-Barnes was leading the NAIA-ADA as president when the group proposed the student-athlete name, image and likeness legislation. She has worked with Glover for the past three years on the NAIA-ADA and says his skillset will serve him well in the current environment.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Joe,” Baker Barnes said. “He is an excellent communicator and strategic thinker. Joe has strong relationships across the association that will assist him as he leads us through the myriad of challenges that we will face as navigate the current pandemic.”
Chelcie Abajian, a manager for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), the organization that manages the NAIA-ADA, said that Glover’s experience and compassion for others will serve him well in this new role.
“Joe is a well-respected leader among NAIA athletics directors,” Abajian said. “He brings compassion and determination to the President’s role and I am confident that he will lead the Association to continued success this membership year.”
The main focus of the NAIA-ADA will be to grapple with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide thoughts and ideas from the perspective of the NAIA athletic directors to other major stakeholders. However, the group will also be expanding other programs and initiatives.
“The NAIA-ADA leadership will be looked upon to provide thoughts and opinions of athletics directors to the NAIA National Office,” Abajian said. “While this group is looked at for feedback, the Association will remain steadfast in its goals to provide education, professional development programming and networking opportunities to provide to its members during this academic year. With the membership dues waiver in place for 2020-21, the NAIA-ADA will look to increase membership across the nation and show why being part of this Association is important for professional growth.”
As Glover takes over as president during a difficult time, he is ready and willing to advocate for the ideas and mission of the nation’s small-college athletic directors.
“I feel honored to be able to lead such a talented group of professionals and hope that I can continue to help shape their voice and make sure that it’s heard at the highest levels,” Glover said. “I want to make sure that we continue to grow the association so that we can be a true benefit to all of our members as we move forward.”