Colby Community College Director of Athletics Mike Saddler has been named a recipient of the Cushman & Wakefield AD of the Year Award (ADOY) by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). The award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses, and surrounding communities.

NACDA is honoring 28 individuals across seven divisions, and Saddler is one of four in the community college category. He will be among those recognized in conjunction with the 57th Annual NACDA & Affiliates Convention at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas on June 28.

"This is truly unexpected, but I'm humbled to be selected for this prestigious award," said Saddler. "You are only as good as those around you, and I believe my selection is a reflection of the great work going on at Colby Community College."

Saddler was named Colby's director of athletics in May of 2018 after spending the previous nine years at Neosho County Community College in the same role. Previously, he coached baseball for eight years at three colleges.

Since Saddler arrived at CCC, multiple Trojan teams have excelled in competition. In 2021, men's cross country won the Jayhawk Conference and Region IV championships on the way to placing third in the nation. The softball team added a second conference title to go with their 2019 crown. In 2020, men's basketball grabbed the program's first conference championship before advancing to the national tournament.

Equally important is the academic success enjoyed by Trojan teams. The athletics department reported a collective GPA of at least 3.0 every semester under Saddler, including the softball team's 2018-19 NJCAA Academic Team of the Year award with a collective 3.67 grade point average.

Community involvement has also been a staple of the athletic department. Before the pandemic shut down many activities in the 2019-20 school year, student-athletes volunteered nearly 2,000 hours with various businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals.

In addition to his responsibilities at CCC, Saddler is the Region VI men's director and the Kansas Jayhawk Community College secretary and treasurer. As region director, he is chair of the NJCAA Division I Baseball Committee and is a member of the Division I Men's Basketball Committee. Locally, he served in advisory roles with the inception of the Steve Lampe Athletic Center and the new Colby Event Center.

For Saddler, the NACDA recognition does not manifest the work of one person.

"I'm honored to share this award with all of the Trojan family from administration to coaches and the student-athletes. The past two years have been an incredibly trying time as we've worked to navigate through a global pandemic. Through it all, we've not only survived but found a way to thrive on the field and in the classroom."

A native of Colby, Saddler received an associate degree from CCC after playing on the baseball team and earning NJCAA All-Academic team honors. He received a bachelor's degree in sports management from the University of Kansas and a master's degree in sports administration from Fort Hays State University. He and his wife Sara have two sons, Brody, 11, and Hudson, 8.