Rustlers receive national accolades

By Jamie Harkins

June 15, 2017 12:00 AM

CCAA Athletic Director of the Year Lakeland College's Alan Rogan has been honoured with the 2017 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Athletic Director of the Year award for his significant contributions to the institution, conference and campus community. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO

The Lakeland College Rustlers athletic program has received national recognition for the accomplishments it made this season.
Rustlers athletic director Alan Rogan captured the 17th annual Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Athletic Director of the Year award at a Hall of Fame banquet in Abbotsford, B.C., on June 6.
The award is the highest accolade an athletic director can attain in the industry, but its true focus is to congratulate everyone involved with a college athletic program on their achievements.
“It’s pretty humbling to receive that level of award (considering) some of the work that your peers do in their institutions,” said Rogan, who has served as the Rustlers athletic director for the past 10 years and been a member of the program for the past 25. “But, it just shows we’ve got a great team at Lakeland who are putting everything together.”
Rogan said receiving the award may be a reflection of the successful hosting of two Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) championship events in 2016-17.
The Rustlers welcomed the ACAC women’s volleyball finals to its Lloydminster campus in early March while simultaneously hosting the varsity curling championships at its Vermilion campus. He noted they assembled a dedicated crew of volunteers and benefited from a lot of hard work by their staff to run the events, which were also supported tremendously from the broader community who came out to cheer on the athletes and make sure the championships were a success.
“We can host these events,” he said. “It doesn’t have to go to Edmonton or Calgary. Lloydminster, even though it’s not a massive city, can put on a great event and we can do a phenomenal job of it. We did that when we hosted women’s volleyball nationals back in 2012 and our community just jumps on board with stuff like this. It’s fantastic and it shows what we can do in our market.”
The CCAA award comes on the heels of Rogan and Rustlers Athletics receiving the inaugural ACAC Athletic Director of the Year award on May 17.
Both these accolades acknowledge the strides that members of the Rustlers teams have made in academic achievement over the years evidenced by two student athletes being named CCAA Academic All-Canadians and 11 players earning ACAC All-Conference status during Rogan’s tenure.
Success on the court, ice and field has also followed with the Rustlers women’s volleyball team winning the college’s first ever national title this past March. These achievements are partly a result of the athletic department being able to hire and retain quality coaches and staff during the past few years resulting in a stronger knowledge base and a more passionate and dedicated leadership.
“It starts with our coaches,” said Rogan. “They understand our culture and where we want to go and then they have to basically relay that vision onto the student athletes to get them to buy in.
“For the most part our student athletes have bought in to who we are and what we’re about. We task our student athletes in our programs to be successful in what we call the three Cs.
So, successful competition, successful in the classroom and successful in the community and how they get there we give them some latitude, but every year we see greater and greater things.”
Rogan said his job as the Rustlers athletic director has changed from a sort of jack-of-all-trades when he began to more of a visionary and top-level administrator tasked with building the program while also generating revenue. He said receiving the CCAA Athletic Director of the Year award proves the work he and his staff are doing is a step in the right direction.
“This shows that in all the areas, on the academic side to the competitive side to being engaged in the community, we’re moving our athletics program and Lakeland College forward,” he said.
“I’d like to see all of our programs continue to build and work towards being successful in competition and I think every year we’ve seen growth in improving our program. So, moving forward from this year to next year if we can continue to see that trend of growth then that’s really where you want to go.”

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