INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --- A highly anticipated moment of the Division III Commissioners Association's NCAA Convention meeting is the announcement of the organization's Meritorious Service Award. This year's honor went to a man with 41 years of dedication and service to collegiate athletics, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference commissioner Chris Ragsdale.
Ragsdale's 10-year stint with the HCAC ends this spring with his retirement. Joe Onderko, Presidents' Athletic Conference commissioner and Vice President of the DIIICA, made the presentation January 18th in Indianapolis. Onderko's presentation comments centered on Chris's extensive career as a coach and administrator. He noted the breadth of knowledge Chris brought to him personally and to the DIIICA as a whole.
"The entire DIIICA thanks Chris for his outstanding service to college athletes and wishes [him] nothing but the best in this next stage of his life," said Onderko.
Ragsdale had two separate men's basketball coaching stints at Alma College and Nazareth College. He served as Director of Athletics at Nazareth, Elmhurst College and the University of LaVerne. He was a member of several NCAA committees throughout that time period and was a key leader of the Playing and Practice Seasons Subcommittee that presented its findings at the 2016 NCAA Convention. Among Ragsdale's other committee service was his time on the Division III Management Council, which is arguably the most prestigious body in the entire governance structure outside of the Presidents Council.
Ragsdale attended Bowling Green State University where he earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees. His official retirement date is June 30, 2018.