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Bethel College’s new athletic director will also coach runners

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College has announced the appointment of a new athletic director, Kent J. Allshouse of Lamoni, Iowa.

In addition to serving as AD, Allshouse will be head track coach and head cross-country coach at Bethel.

Allshouse has filled a variety of roles in the athletics department at Graceland University in Lamoni since 1996. He is currently in his eighth season as head cross-country coach and has also been head track coach and an assistant football coach, for receivers and for defensive backs, for the Graceland Yellowjackets.

One of his major accomplishments was the completion in 2006 of a fundraising campaign for a new 100-acre championship cross-country facility. He has also served as director of sports information and director of intramurals at Graceland.

Allshouse is a1984 graduate of Graceland University, where he majored in health and physical education with a minor in biology and endorsements in K-12 teaching and in coaching. He earned a master of science in physical education in 2010 from Emporia State University.

Allshouse brings to Bethel years of experience as an entrepreneur, fundraiser and recruiter. In addition to his work on Graceland’s new cross-country facility, Allshouse has owned and operated several businesses, including a 250- seat restaurant. As a recruiter, Allshouse increased the cross-country and track rosters at Graceland threefold, to include more than 66 athletes from nine different countries.

Other past experience includes sports broadcaster and program director at KELR/KLAL radio in Chariton, Iowa, and founder and president of the Rough Riders Rugby Club in Osceola, Iowa.

Allshouse and his teams have a number of awards and accomplishments to their credit. The women’s cross-country team received the Commissioner’s Award for the Heart of America Athletic Conference’s (HAAC) highest team GPA in 2004 and was conference champion in 2003 and 2010. Also in 2010, the men’s cross-country team was ninth in the nation.

Allshouse has been named HAAC Coach of the Year, in outdoor track, indoor track and cross country, eight times, most recently in 2010 for indoor track and cross country. He has coached 143 national qualifiers (11 cross-country, 98 indoor, 34 outdoor) and 21 All-Americans (two cross-country, 14 indoor, five outdoor) during his tenure at Graceland.

Allshouse and his wife, Sheri, are the parents of two children – daughter Blaiqe, a junior at Simpson College, and son Alex, a senior in high school.

Diane Flickner, Bethel AD since 1990, announced her retirement from the position last year. She plans to continue on the faculty of the Department of Health and Physical Education, for which she is department chair and associate professor.

This past June, Flickner was named Athletic Director of the Year for the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC). KCAC Commissioner Scott Crawford noted that one of Flickner’s most notable recent accomplishments has been her work as chair of the Sport Regulations Initiative – 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.

“Thanks to Diane Flickner, Bethel College has grown accustomed to exceptional leadership in our athletic department,” said Bethel President Perry D. White. “We are thrilled to have an individual of Kent’s caliber to further that legacy.

“Kent has shown an incredible aptitude for building strong programs in track and cross country at Graceland University,” White continued, “in addition to making a significant contribution in the classroom and to the success of numerous athletic programs during his time at his alma mater. He has demonstrated tremendous leadership skills throughout his career and has exhibited a firm commitment to teaching character via intercollegiate athletics. We look forward to Kent and his family joining us this summer.”

“Following in the footsteps of an accomplished AD like Diane Flickner is a tall order,” Allshouse said, “but I am really excited to join the Bethel team and begin the challenge. Bethel is clearly a very special place and I am sincerely grateful for the warm welcome I have received from across the campus. I feel privileged that President White has charged me to lead the athletic department and I look forward to working with him and others to build on the successes that Diane has established.”

The Bethel College Threshers compete in the KCAC and NAIA in nine intercollegiate sports: men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track and field, and women’s volleyball.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the “U.S. News & World Report” annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.

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