Date:  March 27, 2002

                                                                                                Contact:  Cheryl D. Peck



UIS names new Director of Athletics



SPRINGFIELD – University of Illinois at Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen announced today the appointment of Steven Nicholas “Nick” Adams as UIS’ Director of Athletics Designate, pending approval of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Adams, Associate Director of Athletics at Southern Illinois University/ Edwardsville (SIUE), will succeed retiring coach Aydin Gonulsen, who was named the first athletic director and soccer coach for this campus, then called Sangamon State University, in 1977.

“I believe we’ve hired just the right person to follow Aydin Gonulsen, who has built athletics at this institution from the ground up,” said Ringeisen. “Nick Adams has the leadership skills and experience to take over where Aydin left off in developing and expanding the athletic programs and future team sports.  Adams’ record of success as an athletics administrator is impressive, and his background in recreation and intramural programming is extensive.”

The appointment of Adams is the first time that UIS has had a “full-time” athletic director. Gonulsen’s responsibilities were split between being athletic director and Prairie Stars’ head soccer coach until last fall when Joe Eck was named head soccer coach. Eck had been assistant coach since 1979.

Adams began his career at SIUE as Coordinator of Campus Recreation in 1994, was named Assistant Director of Athletics in 1996, and Associate Director of Athletics in 2000.  He is involved in coordination of 15 varsity sports at SIUE and oversees operations of the Cougar Basketball Booster Association. He successfully bid on three United States Track and Field National Championships and served as meet director for all three events.  He also served as tournament director for six National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regional tournaments and three NCAA national championships.

Before going to SIUE, Adams was Youth League Supervisor for the Roxana Parks and Recreation Department in Roxana, Illinois.  He is a certified recreational sports specialist, certified pool and spa operator, national level USA track and field official, and amateur softball association umpire.

He has a master’s degree in kinesiology/sports management and a bachelor’s degree in education/recreation, both from SIUE.

Gonulsen’s soccer teams won National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national titles in 1986, 1988 and 1993.  Over the past 25 years, his teams have made 20 appearances at the NAIA nationals, winning 20 area, district and regional titles along the way.

The Prairie Stars compete in five varsity sports: Men’s soccer, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball compete in the fall. Women’s basketball competes in the winter, and men’s tennis in the spring. The men’s and women’s tennis, women’s basketball, and men’s soccer teams have all won regional championships in recent years and advanced to NAIA national tournaments.

The recreational sports program at UIS includes open recreation, intramural sports, fitness and instructional programs, outings and trips, and special events.