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Homer Rice Award

The Homer Rice Award is presented annually to an athletics director with a distinguished career, who has made a significant impact on this profession and intercollegiate athletics. This award is presented in honor of Homer Rice, the Founder and first President of the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association.

  1. The nominee must have served as a Director of Athletics for at least ten years at Division 1A Institutions;
  2. He/She must have made significant and meaningful contributions to intercollegiate athletics;
  3. He/She must have been retired from a Division 1A Athletic Directors position for at least one year;
  4. The nomination must be from a current member of the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association as a result of a thorough and extensive process.

Congratulations to Mr. Bob Bowlsby, recipient of the 2013 Homer Rice Award

Bob Bowlsby

Bob Bowlsby, one of the most respected athletic administrators in the nation, was named the fourth full-time Commissioner of the Big 12 Conference on May 2012.

Prior to his role at the Big 12, Bowlsby spent six years directing a Stanford University athletics department that sponsors 35 varsity sports and claimed an unprecedented 17 consecutive Learfield Sports Directors Cups, emblematic of the top overall athletics program in the country. The department maintained an annual budget of $75 million.

Bowlsby arrived at Stanford after a 15-year stint as the chief administrator for the University of Iowa Department of Athletics. In his final four years, he guided and supervised the merger of the Hawkeye men’s and women’s athletic departments that included 24 varsity sports.

Bowlsby has previously served as president of the NCAA Division I-A Athletics Directors’ Association, chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee (2003-04, ’04-05) and chaired the NCAA Management Council. In addition, he has also chaired the NCAA Wrestling Committee, served on NCAA committees on Financial Aid and Amateurism, the Special Committee to Review Amateurism Issues and the Special Committee to Review Financial Conditions in Athletics.

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) named Bowlsby in 2001-02 as Central Region Athletic Director of the Year and Sports Business Journal selected him from the four regional award winners as the National Athletics Director of the Year. The award highlights the efforts of the athletic directors for their commitment and positive contributions to campuses and their surrounding communities. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) named Bowlsby in 2001-02 as Central Region Athletic Director of the Year and Sports Business Journal selected him from the four regional award winners as the National Athletics Director of the Year. The award highlights the efforts of the athletic directors for their commitment and positive contributions to campuses and their surrounding communities.

Before his stint overseeing the Hawkeye athletic department he served in the same role for seven years at the University of Northern Iowa. A native of Waterloo, Iowa, Bowlsby was named to that post in 1984. He was previously in the role of Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities at the school.

Bowlsby earned his bachelor’s degree from Moorhead State University (Minnesota) in 1975 and his master’s degree from the University of Iowa in 1978. In February 2013, he was named to the NCAA 40th Anniversary Tribute Team, which recognizes the 40th anniversary of NCAA Division II competition. He was a four-year letterwinner in wrestling at MSUM and served as captain during his senior year when he won an NSIC title. Bowlsby was inducted into the Dragon Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

Past Recipients of the Homer Rice Award

2013
Bob Bowlsby
Big 12 Conference
2012
Todd Turner
Collegiate Sports Associates
2011
Mike Cleary
NACDA
2010
John Toner
University of Connecticut
2009
Andy Geiger
The Ohio State University
2008
C.M. Newton
University of Kentucky
2007
Vince Dooley
University of Georgia
2005
John Swofford
UNC Chapel Hill
2004
Tom Butters
Duke University
2003
Jack Lengyel
US Naval Academy
2002
Dr. Gene Hooks
Wake Forest University
2001
Frank Windegger
Texas Christian University
2000
Jim Jones
Ohio State University