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Flickner named KCAC Athletic Director of the Year

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College Athletic Director Diane Flickner has been named the 2009-10 Athletic Director of the Year in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC).

KCAC Commissioner Scott Crawford made the announcement June 16. Flickner will be honored at the next KCAC Sport Management Conference, August 10 at Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina.

One of the most notable of Flickner’s accomplishments this past year was her volunteer work as chair of the Sport Regulations Initiative (SRI), an extensive review of contest limitations, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)/KCAC rules compliance, and redefinition of the KCAC’s future as a continuing member of the NAIA.

“Diane has been instrumental in our move forward as a conference in the last several years,” said Andy Lambert, athletic director at Sterling College. “I have been extremely blessed by her leadership.”

John Sheriff, Bethel College interim president, noted, “Diane Flickner is first and foremost an educator who believes excellence is always possible. In the classroom, on the court and as department chair and athletic director, she has set a very high standard of performance. She sets the tone and philosophy for athletics at Bethel College, and I am glad she is being recognized for her leadership once again by the KCAC.”

With this recognition at the conference level, Flickner will now be nominated by the KCAC as NAIA National Athletic Director of the Year. These nominations are due July 1.

“Diane Flickner is a worthy recipient of this award at the conference level and will be a strong candidate for the NAIA's National Athletic Director of the Year award,” said Crawford. “I look forward to recognizing Diane in front of her peers at the KCAC Sport Management Conference in August.”

Since assuming the position of athletic director at Bethel in 1990, Flickner has been honored numerous times as NAIA District 10 and KCAC Athletic Director of the Year. She serves as a member of the KCAC Governing Council and has held various leadership roles within the KCAC during her tenure. She serves as Bethel’s NAIA and KCAC Champions of Character representative.

In addition to her duties as AD, Flickner is associate professor of health and physical education and chair of that department. Her teaching emphasis is in public school health and physical education, curriculum design, sport sociology and sports management.

Flickner has a B.S. from Fort Hays State University and earned an M.S. from Kansas State University. She has also done graduate work at the University of Kansas.

Flickner began her teaching and coaching career at Buhler High School as a health and physical education instructor, assistant basketball coach and head volleyball coach. She came to Bethel College in 1978 after guiding her volleyball teams and assisting legendary basketball coach Jim Baker to numerous KSHAA state championship titles in volleyball and basketball.

Flickner’s success continued at Bethel College. Her Thresher volleyball teams compiled a 400-147 overall record and a 169-21 KCAC record during her 11-year Bethel coaching career, winning eight of 11 KCAC Championships and finishing as a top contender for the title the other three seasons. The 1980-83 teams earned national recognition for the most consecutive wins (66).

Flickner’s 1981 Bethel volleyball team is recognized as one of the best teams ever to compete for the Threshers, winning the 1981 KCAC Championship with a 16-0 conference record. The team earned national recognition as a Top 10 team in overall Division II rankings, won the NAIA District 10 Tournament, placed third at the NAIA National Volleyball Tournament in Athens, W.Va., and finished the season ranked fifth in the final (NCAA, AIAW and NAIA) Division II volleyball poll.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges profiled in Colleges of Distinction 2009-10. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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