Carlow athletic director receives regional award
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Carlow University athletic director George Sliman was named the NAIA's Northeast Region athletic director of the year in late June.
"I was surprised and honored that I had even been nominated by my peers," Sliman admitted Monday.
Sliman took over as athletic director at Carlow in 1999 after serving for 17 years as a part-time volunteer assistant coach with the Carlow women's volleyball team.
Thirteen years into his tenure, Sliman is getting noticed. The attention shows that it's an exciting time for Sliman and the Carlow athletic department, and the award is just a small part of the excitement.
This fall, in an effort to service the full extent of the student body, the Carlow athletic department is adding its first men's team -- a men's cross country team -- to its slate of varsity athletic offerings.
The men's cross country team will be coupled with a women's team to join the five varsity women's teams -- basketball, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball -- already assembled at Carlow.
"Carlow is women-centered and we're looking at a shift in that in regard to athletic teams and making sure we're offering our male students opportunities," Sliman said. "So the next five years we plan to gradually increase the number of sport offerings for male students."
That, he admits, is worth every ounce of the effort.
"It is, that's for sure," Sliman continued. "It's a lot of work and it requires a lot of support from the university with regard to budget and operational budget and staff budgets, but the university is committed to that."
Sliman is a product of Pittsburgh, through and through. The Greenfield native attended Taylor Allderdice High School and the University of Pittsburgh before spending a significant stretch of his career with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of the City of Pittsburgh.
His community experience has manifested itself at Carlow, where every varsity team is involved in community service projects throughout the year.
Sliman has been credited with setting an atmosphere of excellence at Carlow with the implementation of the Student-Athlete Association's "Champions of Character" training for coaches and student-athletes.
"Our philosophy at Carlow is we have values-based athletics and not only do we emphasize the core values of the university, but we also incorporate the core values of the champions of character program," Sliman said.
"There are five core values: respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, sportsmanship. We try to have all of our coaches and players conduct themselves with those values in mind."
Last season, all five varsity teams at Carlow were named NAIA scholar teams, meaning they posted academic scores above the minimum 3.0 grade point average.
Sliman successfully spearheaded several significant transitions at Carlow in the past year, the first and most important of which was joining the United States Collegiate Athletics Association (USCAA), which serves in dual affiliation with the NAIA and offers a number of advantages, most notably increased access to postseason competition.
Under the new affiliation, the Carlow women's basketball and softball teams qualified for the USCAA playoffs this year. The softball program finished No. 3 in the country.
And as a result of the disbanding of the American Mideast Conference this month, Carlow will shift within the NAIA conferences to the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
First Published July 19, 2012 12:00 am