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MBU’s Brad Cygan Honored With NAIA’s Sports Information Director of the Year Award

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) recently named Missouri Baptist University’s Sports Information Director, Brad Cygan, the Sports Information Director of the Year.

The award for Sports Information Director of the Year is one of the association’s highest individual honors. This award recognizes Cygan’s outstanding accomplishments in promoting visibility in local and national media, using social media effectively and contributing to the American Midwest Conference and the NAIA.

Each conference affiliated with the NAIA, as well as the association of independent institutions, nominate one sports information director based on accomplishments during the previous year in the areas of athletics communications, sports information, promotion and service to the NAIA.

The NAIA-SIDA Board, Conference Commissioners, and Athletic Directors nominated 20 to 21 people for review by the Voting Committee.

Cygan was automatically nominated after receiving the 2014-15 American Midwest Conference Sports Information Director of the Year award.

American Midwest Conference Sports Information Director Reid Cure, a Missouri Baptist University graduate, said of Cygan that, “[he] not only has a passion for sports, but a huge devotion for the advancement of Spartan athletics at both a local and national level. Missouri Baptist is very lucky to have a guy like Brad marketing their student-athletes and sports programs in various ways day in and day out.”

Cygan has been the Sports Information Director at Missouri Baptist University since August 2011. He serves as the primary media contact for Missouri Baptist University Athletics and manages all statistical and creative design, and development functions for the department.

“Since joining MBU in 2011, [Cygan]’s contribution to promoting Spartan Athletics both internally and throughout the community cannot be overstated,” said Director of Athletics, Dr. Tom Smith. “Even in the midst of the Mega-Sports market in St. Louis, [Cygan] has been able to gain local attention on multiple occasions by building relationships with local media personnel, and providing media outlets with great special interest reporting and stories.”

Exponential growth occurred during Cygan’s tenure thus far at Missouri Baptist University. Cygan plays an instrumental part in the addition of several new Spartan programs including: football, sand volleyball and dance.

“[Cygan] has been nothing but professional from the moment I first met him,” said head football coach Jason Burianek. “He has a clear vision about what MBU Athletics is and works extremely hard to promote all the sports in a first class manner.”

Cygan was also an integral part of MBU’s successful hosting of the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) National Championship in 2014 and 2015, as well as the NAIA Men’s Volleyball National Invitational in 2015.

Additionally, Cygan volunteered to assist at the NAIA Division I Women’s Basketball National Championship and served as an assistant media coordinator for the event.

“[Cygan] is a constant professional that is always working for the betterment of the NAIA, American Midwest Conference and Missouri Baptist,” said Alan Grosbach, NAIA manager of communications and sports information. “He’s a positive individual that is not afraid to go the extra mile when it comes to Missouri Baptist. When you’re working with [Cygan], you know the result will be high-quality.”

This is not the first time Cygan has been recognized nationally for his work. In 2013, Cygan received first place in the Season Preview category of the NAIA-SIDA Publication Contest for his preview of MBU baseball.

Cygan’s football and baseball season preview stories tied for second place in the Dr. W. Jack Bell Season Preview/Review category, a category that had 30 entries from across the NAIA, in 2014. His women’s basketball preview story tied for ninth place in the same category. The football poster that Cygan pieced together earned second place in the Single-Sport Poster category in the Promotional Materials Contest, with 23 entries across the country.

In addition to his work at Missouri Baptist, Cygan serves as the NAIA-SIDA Branding Committee Chairman.

“We could not be more proud of [Cygan],” said Senior Vice President for Student Development and Associate Provost Dr. Andy Chambers. “From his first day at MBU, Brad Cygan pursued telling the story of Spartan athletics with a passion and excellence, and the results speak for themselves.”

Cygan will be formally presented with the award on April 18, 2016, at the Awards Luncheon in Kansas City, Mo.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), Kansas City, Mo., is a governing body of college athletics programs that are dedicated to student-centric, character-driven intercollegiate athletics. NAIA members provide more than 65,000 student-athletes with opportunities to play college sports, earn $500 million in scholarships and compete in 23 national championships.

Today, the NAIA strengthens its commitment to student-athletes and strives to enrich their college experience by supporting academic achievement and character development. NAIA Champions of Character is the association’s innovative flagship program designed to instill character values in student-athletes, coaches and youth in the communities it serves. To learn more visit www.NAIA.org.