MBU’s Lowell Pitzer to be inducted into NAIA Hall of Fame
Lowell Pitzer has been many things to many people over a career that has spanned 27 years…a teacher, a coach, a mentor, a leader, a friend and a trusted colleague. Now, as he continues his career as the commissioner of the American Midwest Conference, NAIA Hall of Famer can be added to that list.
Pitzer’s induction will take place next month at the annual NAIA Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
Last summer, the Missouri Baptist Department of Athletics began work on nominating the Assistant Professor for the award. Not surprisingly, it didn’t take much effort to gather letters in support of his induction. The NAIA made its selections in August and in early September Pitzer was announced as one of 13 who will be inducted in April of 2013.
“I am grateful the NAIA would honor me with this prestigious award,” Pitzer said. “The men and women with whom I have had the privilege to serve embrace NAIA’s core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. This organization and those with whom I have had the privilege to serve has profoundly affected my worldview.”
Through his career, he has served as both a coach and an administrator. He worked
under two conferences (Gulf Coast Athletic Conference and the American Midwest Conference) as conference President, and has served on both NAIA men’s and women’s basketball tournament committees as a committee member and chairman.
Pitzer served as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at MBU from 1990 to 1997. He was named men’s basketball conference Coach of the Year in the 1991-1992 season. His men’s basketball team qualified for the NAIA National Championship in 1994. From 1997-2002, he served as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at MBU and was the conference Coach of the Year in the 1999- 2000 season.
In 2004, Missouri Baptist honored the long- time coach, inducting him into the University’s Athletics Hall of Fame. After 27 years, Pitzer has had numerous experiences that he holds dearly.
“While serving at MBU as the men’s basketball coach, having our 1993-1994 team qualify for the NAIA Men’s National Tournament was a highlight in my coaching career,” Pitzer explained. “As Athletic Director at MBU, I was selected as the NAIA Athletic Director of District 16, as well as Region V. It was an encouragement to me to be chosen by my peers for these honors.”
Now that he is the AMC Commissioner, he feels that he has been able to make strides for the conference and the NAIA as well.
“I have watched the conference grow in stability and membership,” he said. “Having served as the Chairman of the NAIA Conference Commissioners for two years was a high point, because the effective functioning of all of our conferences continues to be integral to the success of the NAIA.”
In addition to this newest honor, Pitzer was recognized at Alderson-Broaddus (his Alma-Mater) as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2005 and was inducted into their Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.
“I remembered immediately that my college coach, Rex Pyles of Alderson-Broaddus College, W.V., and one of the founders of the NAIA in 1937, had been inducted into the Hall of Fame for Meritorious service about fifty years ago,” he reminisced. “His expression all those years ago was one of delight and thankfulness for being selected for this honor.”