Category Archives: Sports

Reinhardt’s Bill Popp named NAIA Athletic Director of the Year

KANSAS CITY, MO. (Sept. 17, 2018) – After one of the finest years both in the classroom and on the playing field for Reinhardt University, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) national office announced Monday that Vice President for Athletics and Athletic Director Bill Popp has been selected as the 2018 NAIA Athletics Director of the Year.

Reinhardt's Bill Popp named NAIA Athletic Director of the Year

“The NAIA is thrilled to award Bill Popp this honor,” NAIA President and CEO Jim Carr said. “His dedication and integrity set an outstanding example for all NAIA athletics directors, and we’re extremely fortunate for his insight and contributions at the association level.”

Popp – a three-time recipient of the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) Athletic Director of the Year (2017-18, 2015-16, 2012-13) – now collects NAIA Athletics Director of the Year for the first time in his 14 years at Reinhardt.

“This has been a tremendous year for Reinhardt Athletics,” said Popp. “Our programs have experienced the most successful year to date, culminating with receiving the AAC Duard Walker trophy. To then be individually recognized amongst such an amazing peer group, is truly humbling.”

This prestigious national accolade comes shortly after Reinhardt Athletics received the 2017-18 AAC Duard Walker All-Sports Trophy for the first time in school history – an award established as a way of recognizing member institutions with the most successful all-around sports program for the year.

The Eagles also took home the Men’s All-Sports Trophy after combining for 813.75 points throughout the 2017-18 athletic calendar, and Tennessee Wesleyan was next in line with 733.333 points.

In 2017-2018, Reinhardt teams amassed over 140 All-Academic student-athletes, 75 All-Conference student-athletes, 11 national championship appearances, 11 regular-season or conference championships, nine Coach of the Year recognitions and eight Player of the Year recipients.

Additionally, men’s lacrosse won the 2018 NAIA Men’s Lacrosse National Invitational to earn the Eagles back-to-back national titles.

“I don’t know of a more deserving athletics director in the NAIA than Bill Popp,” AAC Commissioner John Sullivan said. “His leadership, strength of character and expertise have been instrumental in the growth and success of the athletics program at Reinhardt University.

“He is clearly a rising star and a great human being,” Sullivan added.

Popp, the vice president of the AAC, also serves on several boards within the NAIA. Presently, he is the Vice Chair of the National Administrative Counsel, the Chair of the National Drug Testing and Education Committee, and is a member of the NAIA’s Athletic Directors Association Board of Directors.

Through his leadership University wide, Reinhardt has developed more athletic programs, including football, all with a foundation of high academic standards and community service. The University, in 2017-18, had 106 Eagle Scholars – student-athletes with a GPA of 3.75 or higher – and an average GPA across all 22 teams of 3.15. Solely in the 2017-18 academic year, Reinhardt student-athletes performed nearly 1,000 service hours in the community with softball leading the way with more than 400 service hours.

“Reinhardt University is fortunate to have Coach Popp at the helm of our athletic department. He and his team of coaches and administrative staff have created an environment that encourages student-athletes to flourish at Reinhardt University,” said President Kina S. Mallard. “We are proud of all of Coach Popp’s accomplishments, and grateful for his leadership across the University.”

UGA Football Friday Proclaimed; Government Closing Early Monday

Governor Deal declares January 5, 2018 “UGA Football Friday
Credit: Governor Nathan Deal Facebook page

Governor Nathan Deal proclaimed January 5 as “UGA Football Friday,” and  encourages fans far and wide to represent Georgia Football on January 5, 2017 by wearing red and black.

On Monday, January 8, the Georgia Bulldogs will take on Alabama Crimson Tide for the College Football National Championship at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

In light of several factors, Gov. Nathan Deal, along with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Fulton County government officials, announced early closures for state and local government in metro Atlanta on Monday, January 8. The City of Atlanta will close at 2:30 p.m. Fulton County and state government will close at 3 p.m.

Agencies are also encouraged to allow employees with the ability to telecommute to do so. Employees and visitors are also encouraged to use MARTA to travel on Monday.

Reinhardt’s Miller Signs Three-year Contract Extension

After leading the No. 2 Reinhardt Eagles to a record-breaking season and a national runner-up finish in the 2017 NAIA Football National Championship, first-year head football coach James Miller has reached an agreement on a three-year extension, Director of Athletics Bill Popp announced.

James Miller has signed a three-year agreement with Reinhardt University

The deal will keep Miller roaming the sidelines of Ken White Field at University Stadium through 2020.

“With the success after his first year as a head coach, we really wanted to take this opportunity to extend Coach Miller so he can continue to grow this program in the positive direction that he took it this year,” Popp said. “This extension provides continuity to the program, allows us to retain our staff, and lets our current players and future recruits know that our coaches will be here to continue on the successful path that has been laid.”

“His passion for the game is second-to-none; he just loves coaching football and the kids look up to him – they love him – and they respond well to him. Couple that with the way he handles his staff, it was a very easy decision for us to extend Coach Miller to lead Reinhardt Football into the future.”

A former college football player at Virginia Tech (2000-04), Miller has been with Reinhardt since 2014. Miller also served as the program’s recruiting coordinator, in addition to being the assistant coach in charge of the offensive line.

The head Eagle now looks to mold his team into a consistent powerhouse after his initial 12-1 campaign.

“I’m excited to continue to try to build Reinhardt into a national program,” Miller said. “I really feel we have in place what it takes to continue building this program and win a championship. I want to thank President Dr. (Kina) Mallard and Coach Popp for giving me this opportunity; it’s truly a blessing to coach these kids at our great University.

“Also, I would like to thank my players and coaches – without them, none of this would be possible.”

The Sylva, N.C., native and company will now hit the ground running in recruiting as they get to work on earning their way back to Daytona in 2018.

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