Lonny Allen, Tiffin University’s Vice President for Athletics, received the 2021 Athletics Director of the Year Award by The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
The Athletics Director of the Year Award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses and their surrounding communities. Allen was one of 28 honorees across seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS, Division I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior College/Community Colleges).
Over the last year, new challenges arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Allen played a significant role in guiding TU athletics through the unique year. He implemented University and athletic department protocols for student-athletes. Because of his hard work and dedication, Tiffin University continued with practice of all University athletic teams. TU’s men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis competed in Fall 2020.
Allen also continued to make sure Tiffin’s student-athletes stayed active in the community. Student-athletes put on virtual weekly readings and videos at local elementary schools, sent greeting cards to the elderly at a local retirement home, wrote thank you cards to all staff and faculty at the University and organized monthly food distribution at the local county food bank.
During Spring 2021, Tiffin University has 21 sports competing home and away for conference, regional and national recognition covering fall, winter and spring sports simultaneously. He was at the forefront, designing and implementing a University and athletic wide plan for every student-athlete to participate and play the sport they love this academic year.
“When the pandemic hit, Lonny hit the ground running,” said TU’s Senior Woman Administrator and Senior Associate Director of Athletics, Kelly Daniel. “Because of him, we were the first in the area and conference to begin COVID testing our student-athletes. He has even become part of the testing process and suits up in gown, mask and shield assisting our nurse practitioner.”
“One of Lonny’s greatest strengths is his belief in teamwork and family,” said Tiffin University President Dr. Lillian Schumacher. “His example of leadership has set a standard on campus and at the conference level.”
“It is a tremendous honor to receive this from NACDA,” said Allen. “I appreciate the recognition, but this should go to the entire athletic department as without them and their hard work, this would not be possible. It truly has been a year of adversity and challenges, but everyone at TU has come together to ensure that our students have the best experience possible.”
Allen has served as TU’s Athletic Director since 2008 and has been at the forefront of continuing the growth of the department in Division II. Under his direction, Tiffin University athletics has grown as large as 26 varsity sports, with 10 of those teams being NCAA nationally-ranked. The program has also made many additions, such as the development of the Heminger Center, along with new facilities for the golf and wrestling programs. In recent years, Allen added women’s wrestling and implemented the largest state-of-the-art esports arena in the nation on TU’s campus.