Jim Sheldon

The NSCAA will honor its first fulltime Executive Director, Jim Sheldon, with its most prestigious award, the Honor Award, at the annual Honors Award dinner, Friday night, Jan. 17 at the NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia.

John McKeon, the longtime Executive Director, NSCAA Hall of Fame member, and Past President, had administered the NSCAA from the basement of his home in East Stroudsburg, PA.

The Association decided to hire fulltime staff to handle duties that were being done by fulltime coaches on a part-time basis. Whe[show_disconnected][show_to accesslevel=’Subscriber’]n Sheldon was hired in 1992, the Association had about 8,000 members and an annual budget of around $600,000.

When he retired in 2009, it had grown to nearly 30,000 members and an annual budget approaching $5 million. An office was opened in Kansas City, Mo.

Sandy Williamson was Sheldon’s first hire as Membership Manager. Steve Veal was the second.

“Jim Sheldon was the perfect hire at the perfect time for the Association as they looked to establish a national office,” said Veal, current Awards Manager of the NSCAA and longtime Associate Executive Director.

“He was a quiet, but steady leader, who worked with the Board of Directors to grow the membership, convention attendance and our education programs. His fingerprints were all over every major change that resulted in a tremendous growth period for the NSCAA in the ’90’s and early 2000’s.”

Sheldon had spent several years as the Division I Men’s soccer administrator for the NCAA and at the time of his hire he had just completed a job working for Ted Turner at the Goodwill Games in Seattle.

“It is the greatest honor in my professional career,” Sheldon said upon hearing he would receive the Honor Award. “When I look at the list of previous winners, I can’t help but be humbled. I’m not sure I match up to those individuals.” Not only was Sheldon responsible for moving the NSCAA headquarters to Kansas City, he also led the drive for the Association to purchase its own building in 2007.

Shortly after becoming Executive Director, Sheldon led the change in absorbing the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America (ISAA) into the fold in 1995, which established the NSCAA as the source for college rankings and other awards the Association bestows today.

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