CHICAGO - Saint Xavier University's Rob Huizenga has been named the 2013-14 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Sports Information Director of the Year, it was announced by the conference office on Tuesday. Huizenga was selected by a vote of his peers in the 14-member conference.
"I am extremely humbled by this award because there are so many talented and hard-working sports information directors in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference," said Huizenga, who recently completed his 11th year as the sports information director at Saint Xavier. "To be selected as the top one this year is a huge honor that means the world to me."
Huizenga was instrumental in having three Cougar student-athletes earn top honors for their respective sport this past year, including Brad Karp, who was named the Capital One College Division Men's Basketball Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for the second year in a row. Sisters Megan and Nicole Nonnemacher were also recognized with Megan claiming the same honor as Karp in softball and Nicole being named the 2014 NAIA National Pitcher of the Year. Women's basketball player Morgan Stuut was also a national finalist for the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)-NAIA National Player of the Year award.
For his career, Huizenga has also helped softball player Samantha Eyman claim the 2005 Courageous Female Student-Athlete Giant Steps Award, football placekicker Tom Lynch gain the Fred Mitchell Award in back-to-back years (2010, 2011) and Shane Zackery earn national finalist recognition for the prestigious National Football Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete Award.
"Rob is outstanding in every aspect of his position," said Bob Hallberg, longtime director of athletics at Saint Xavier. "His passion for the entire athletic program is outstanding. He has tremendous enthusiasm for promoting every one of our sports teams and our student-athletes. Through his efforts, our student-athletes and coaches have been the recipients of numerous conference, regional and national awards."
Huizenga has helped the Saint Xavier athletics program get plenty of exposure in the Chicagoland area as well as both regionally and nationally since joining the university back in 2003. In December 2009, the SXU athletics department was featured on the front page of the Chicago Tribune sports section with a two-page article highlighting the tradition of success the department had built as a whole.
This past summer, Huizenga completed his fourth re-design of the Saint Xavier athletic department website. He has also created and maintained the Cougars' social media pages, which have grown to over 1,100 followers on their Facebook page and better than 700 followers on the Saint Xavier Twitter page.
Huizenga has also provided assistance at both the conference and national levels on a regular basis throughout his career. Most recently, he served on the four-member committee responsible for re-designing the CCAC website in the summer of 2013 and also as a voter for the NAIA Football National Player of the Week award this past fall. Previously, Huizenga served as the judging coordinator for the NAIA Men's Basketball Brochure Contest from 2008-2013 and a one-year term as an at-large member on the NAIA-SIDA Board (2006-07). He has also helped run a number of conference tournament events over the years, including recently serving as the media coordinator for the 2014 CCAC Softball Tournament.
In addition to being named the CCAC SID of the Year this season, Huizenga has had a number of his media guides recognized as "Best in the Nation" by the NAIA, including his combined basketball brochure in both 2004-05 and 2005-06 and his football media guide in both 2011-12 and 2012-13.
"I would like to thank all of the wonderful staff I have the privilege to work with at Saint Xavier University and within the conference, but I would especially like to thank my assistant, Chris Gbur," continued Huizenga. "Without his endless help over these past few years, our office would not be nearly as productive and successful, and our student-athletes and teams would not receive near the attention they deserve."
Besides his duties as Saint Xavier's sports information director, Huizenga also serves as an assistant director of athletics in the program.