Dr. Joel Wiggins Named the Chair of the UMAC Council for Presidents

Crown College President Dr. Joel Wiggins with UMAC Commissioner Corey Borchardt

Dr. Joel Wiggins has been named the Chair of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Council for Presidents for the upcoming academic year.

Dr. Wiggins will preside over the Council for Presidents meetings that take place during the academic year. He will serve as the main contact and voice of the presidents for all UMAC colleges, and will work closely with UMAC Commissioner Corey Borchardt.

“It will be a privilege to work with Dr. Wiggins and to engage with him more extensively on conference matters,” says Borchardt. “He has a true passion for athletics and a strong desire to see a positive student-athlete experience further enhanced not just at Crown College but for the entire conference. I look forward to collaborating with him strategically in advancing the conference and pursuing further excellence for our conference operations.”

In his role as Chair, Dr. Wiggins will also represent the UMAC at the official NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) meetings and will represent the UMAC at the annual NCAA Division III Presidents Advisory Group meeting.

“I look forward to getting to know the other presidents of our conference institutions better,” says Dr. Wiggins. “I enjoy sports a lot so I also look forward to understanding how the NCAA works as the premier collegiate athletic organization in America. I also want to see how we can improve the performance and image of the UMAC in Division III.”

In the role, Dr. Wiggins has a unique opportunity to represent an accredited Christian college in a setting that is not necessarily a conference for only evangelical Christian colleges.

“I believe schools of different size, mission, heritage, and viewpoint can get along through sports,” says Dr. Wiggins. “We don’t all have to agree with each others’ theology, lifestyle commitments, curricular philosophies, or corporate values in order to form an athletic conference. I believe schools from different ‘categories’ (e.g., religious, public, non-religious private, etc.) can work together for the best interests of their respective student bodies.”

He says there is a great opportunity to practice diversity and understanding among many Division III institutions, which includes around 450 colleges, 80% of which are private.

“President Wiggins has shown his creativity and passion in his time here at Crown and I am excited to see him bring these traits to a leadership position as the Chair of the UMAC Council of Presidents,” says Jamie Ross, the Director of Athletics at Crown College.

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