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(August 15, 2022 11:25 AM) After a national search, Spring Arbor University today announced the hiring of William (Bill) Weidner as the Cougars’ new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. 

A veteran athletics administrator with more than 30 years of experience as an administrator and coach, Weidner has served with some of the finest NCAA and NAIA intercollegiate athletic programs in the nation, including having served as a Director of Athletics with five intercollegiate athletic programs. 

“I am thrilled to have someone with Bill’s experience and wisdom leading our athletic department at SAU,” shared Corey Ross, Vice President for Student Development and Success, who led the search and will be supervising the AD. “I believe he is the right person to move us forward and continue our trajectory of operating an athletic program that honors and advances Christ, that adds vibrant life to our campus, and that shapes our student-athletes and staff into extraordinary, faith-filled men and women.” 

“I am beyond excited and extremely blessed to have been offered the opportunity to serve Spring Arbor University as its Director of Intercollegiate Athletics,” said Weidner. “I am looking forward to assisting with the institution’s ongoing efforts of building upon the solid foundation of excellence that has been established within the Cougar athletic program in both the academic and athletic arenas. I would like to thank Dr. Ellis, Corey Ross, and members of the search committee for their thoughtful consideration in this regard.” 

Weidner, who most recently served at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas in the same capacity, takes the reins of the SAU Athletic Department after Ryan Cottingham stepped down from his AD duties earlier this year. Cottingham will continue to serve as the head coach of the men’s basketball program. 

“We are incredibly grateful for the service of Ryan Cottingham in a dual role as Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach. His excellent work is a large contributor to the necessity of the creation of a position specifically focused on strategic leadership within our athletic programs. We are thankful for the addition of a faithful man in Bill Weidner and are excited for his leadership with our coaches, athletes and across campus” shared Dr. Brent Ellis, President of Spring Arbor University. 

In addition to his service as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Wayland Baptist University, Weidner also served as the Vice President for Institutional Development and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of the Southwest (New Mexico) as well as having tenures in the position of Director of Athletics at Ashland University (Ohio), the University of Texas Pan American and Weber State University (Utah). His past service has provided additional experience in the role of Deputy Athletics Director at the University of Central Florida and the University of San Francisco. Weidner’s professional background also includes having been an Assistant Athletic Director at Southern Methodist University as well as having served on the football coaching staffs at Stanford University, Ohio State University, Murray State University, Southern Connecticut State University and the University of New Haven. 

Along with his work in college athletics, Weidner spent three years as the president of a non-profit, community outreach Christian ministry in Spring Hill, Florida. Somebody Cares Hernando Country, Inc. worked to unite and mobilize churches, businesses, and other community organizations for the purpose of assisting with the ongoing needs of individuals in central Florida. 

“As SAU moves forward to fulfill its mission of honoring God by educating its men and women to excel in both the classroom and on the field of play, as well as establishing among them a lifelong commitment of serving others, I look forward to utilizing my God-given abilities, skills, and talents to best serve Spring Arbor University with great enthusiasm” continued Weidner. 

Weidner received his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Springfield College (Mass.) and his Master of Arts degree in physical education from Stanford University (Calif.). 

Weidner becomes only the fourth athletic director at Spring Arbor in the past 60 years, and the University’s first full-time director following Hank Burbridge, Sam Riggleman, and Ryan Cottingham, who led the department while also fulfilling their head coaching roles. 

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