Sport's Business Journal has named Mack B. Rhoades, Baylor University's vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics, as the 2021 Athletics Director of the Year.
The Sports business Journal's 2021 winners were announced Wednesday evening, June 23.
Rhoades was selected from among five final nominees - University of Alabama's Greg Byrne, University of Pittsburgh's Heather Lyke, University of Notre Dame's Jack Swarbrick, and University of Virginia's Carla Williams.
"Mack Rhoades took on a reclamation project in 2016, when he left the Missouri AD job after a year to join Baylor at a time when the Bears didn’t look very attractive," said the Sports Business Awards rundown. "They were coming out of a scandal-ridden period that revealed the school mishandled the reporting of sexual assault cases. Now, Rhoades has transformed the athletic department culture and propensity for winning, especially in basketball."
The SBJ Athletics Director of the Year award is given to directors who demonstrate leadership, excellence, and vision, and according to Baylor University, Baylor athletics is guided by Rhoades' vision of 'Preparing Champions for Life' which consists of academic achievement, athletic success, character formation and spiritual growth.
"Mack is most-deserving of this national recognition as Baylor Athletics experienced many successes both inside and outside the classroom during an unprecedented year with COVID-19," said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. "While we certainly celebrate the wins and championships, Mack and his team have truly embraced Baylor's unique role in intercollegiate athletics as a Christian research university and our emphasis on intentionally preparing our student-athletes in all aspects of their lives. His dedication and focus will have a lasting impact on generations of Baylor Bears."
This is Rhoades second Athletics Director of the Year honor, after he was awarded 2019-20 NACDA Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year.