Known as a dynamic combination of professional athletic talent and business aptitude, Bill Rapp, 1982 alumnus, was named as the University’s new athletic director beginning in October.
“NNU anticipates benefiting greatly from Bill’s extensive professional experience in sports management. He is a leader who brings vision and development skills to support and expand on our legacy of athletic and academic achievement,” commented Alexander.
Bill brings 30 years of experience with the SAP Open (ATP World Tour) and professional tennis tournaments in the Bay Area and 11 years as the tournament director with Sharks Sports & Entertainment. Bill was the first USPTA pro to become a director of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Early in his career in San Jose, he also managed ticket sales for the San Jose Sharks (NHL).
As the SAP Open tournament director, Bill signed all professional players, including Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray.
President Alexander said, “Bill Rapp is a unique hire for NNU’s intercollegiate athletic program. Not only was he a student-athlete at NNU, he has a successful record as a sports entrepreneur. Bill Rapp will grow NNU athletics.”
Excited for the opportunity, Bill stated, “When I graduated from NNU I felt prepared for whatever was next. God led me to a rewarding career in teaching, coaching, sports marketing and tournament management. Most importantly, He allowed me opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.”
He continued, “Now, three decades later, I am excited to partner with NNU coaches, staff, alumni and community. Together we will focus on our athletes’ academic, physical and spiritual development. Our athletes will train intensely, compete fiercely and will compete and win with class.”
Bill and his wife Sherra have three sons, Spencer, Jensen and Anderson.
The Crusader men’s soccer team was named the GNAC Team of the Week and defender Stephen Marshall was named the Red Lion/GNAC Defensive Player of the Week after the Crusaders defeated nationally 12th-ranked Simon Fraser University 2-1 on Sept. 15.
NNU battled Western Washington University to a 0-0 tie in Bellingham, Wash., and then stunned Simon Fraser in Burnaby, B.C., ending SFU’s GNAC-record 24-game unbeaten streak during the impressive road trip.
“Stephen (Marshall) showed why he is one of the best defenders in the region,” NNU head coach Coe Michaelson commented. “His leadership and ability to read the game are second to none.”
It was the first GNAC Team of the Week honors for an NNU team this year.
The Crusader volleyball team finished the 2012 pre-season with a 6-3 record opening play at the Point Loma Seaside Invitational.
The tournament featured wins for the Crusaders against Point Loma Nazarene (3-0), Cal State Stanislaus (3-1) and Cal State Dominguez Hills (3-0). “Pre-season tournaments are all about learning who you are as a team,” commented NNU head coach Jared Sliger. “We learned some important lessons this weekend.”
The Crusaders then traveled to the Route 92 Showdown in Hayward, Calif., and earned eighth-year head coach Sliger his 100th career win with a victory over Notre Dame de Namur University.
“Getting to 100 wins either means you have been coaching a really long time, or your teams have been pretty good. It has been a little of both for me. I am so fortunate to coach at this institution,” Sliger added.
Senior Carly Dranginis added, “It is an honor to have been a part of such a huge milestone for him in his coaching career. I am thankful for all he has done for me and our program.”
Freshman Haley Gochnour struck the first competitive shot for the Crusaders at 3:14 p.m. on September 13th as the NNU women’s golf team played their inaugural match against The College of Idaho at River Bend Golf Course.
Gochnour, who is from Boise and attended Cole Valley Christian School, went on to lead the NNU team effort with an 85. “It was fun to play our first match and get the season started,” commented 14th-year head coach Craig Stensgaard. Gochnour joins teammates Carleigh Sturm (Colo.), Jessica Knight (Idaho) and Krista Gaona (Idaho).
The Crusaders will travel to the MSUB Yellowjacket Invitational in Billings, Mont., and then play in both the Saint Martin’s University Invitational and Western Washington Viking Invitational during the fall season.
The NNU cross country program hosted the 5th annual Roger Curran Invitational this September at West Park in Nampa.
The event, which continues its steady growth in the cross country landscape, welcomed six college teams and grew to 26 middle school, high school junior varsity and high school varsity teams this year. A community run/walk was also featured during the morning races.
Named in memorial to the late Dr. Roger Curran of Nampa, all proceeds benefit the H.E.L.P. (Health Education and Leadership Program) scholarship program that provides scholarships to students seeking degrees in a healthcare related field.