AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Announced this morning, “Amarillo College’s return to intercollegiate athletics has been buoyed by the establishment of an Athletics Advisory Board to help shape the vision of how the new program can best serve the community.”
The group of ten advisors, said the College, includes four people with direct ties to the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame and one former president of the College.
Amarillo College, which noted itself as having last participated in competitive athletics in the 1980’s, will introduce new teams in men’s baseball, women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country beginning in the fall of 2022.
Mark White, AC’s executive vice president and general counsel, is supervising AC’s reestablishment of an intercollegiate sports program. He says he looks forward to receiving input from the volunteers he asked to serve on the board.
Members of the advisory board are:
- Jon Mark Beilue – journalist; member and current president of the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame (PSHOF)
- Keith Grays – community activist and track & field enthusiast
- Sheri Haynes – publisher and member of the PSHOF for collegiate basketball exploits; former high school coach
- David Jones – general counsel for Happy State Bank and immediate past president of PSHOF
- Brenda Kitten – five-time high school state champion volleyball coach; inducted into the PSHOF in 2013
- Dr. Paul Matney – past president of Amarillo College and youth baseball umpire
- Karen Roberts – owner of Get Fit specialty running store
- Aubrey Smith, M.D. – orthopedic surgeon and youth sports coach
- Colette Stuart – physical therapist and former collegiate cross-country athlete
- Dawna Wine – former collegiate tennis coach and co-owner of D-BAT baseball & softball training academy
“We’ve been fortunate to assemble an outstanding group of individuals,” White said. “Each has knowledge of sports and passion for the community, which is exactly what we were looking for – folks who can bring both those qualities to the table.”
According to White, the advisory board will meet for the first time later this month. He says the board will meet on a quarterly basis, or more often if needed.
“That these civic leaders have agreed to help keep us apprised about how we can optimally serve the community is indicative, I think of the overwhelming public response to the announcement of our return to athletics,” he said.
The College reported that it has already has been granted full member status in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCCA), the governing association of community college athletics throughout the United States. Additionally, AC recently attained membership in the conference in which it will compete – the Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC).
The next order of business, according to White, will be the hiring of coaches for each of the new sports. He said the College would begin to advertise for coaches and post job descriptions on or about May 1.
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