Parker resigns as Northwestern College’s vice president for athletics

May 18, 2023 6:58am

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     ORANGE CITY, Iowa—Dr. Micah Parker has resigned as Northwestern College’s vice president for athletics after three years in that role to return to his previous institution. He has been named vice president for athletics at NCAA Division I California Baptist University, where he served as athletic director from 2009 to 2020.

            “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Northwestern, working for President Greg Christy and the cabinet,” says Parker, whose last day on campus will be May 26. “We have been blessed with a tremendous group of coaches and staff, who do so well because they are mission-minded. It was a difficult decision to make, and I’ll always be a Red Raider fan.”

            During Parker’s time at Northwestern, the football team won the 2022 NAIA national championship, the men’s basketball team won the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) tournament, and the men’s soccer and softball teams won regular season GPAC titles. Additionally, Northwestern’s Overwatch and Rocket League esports teams won conference championships.

“What Dr. Parker has accomplished here in three years is very impressive,” says Greg Christy, Northwestern’s president. “Most importantly, Dr. Parker has continued to build on our mission of honoring Christ through excellence in athletics and made many strong hires in our athletic staff who will carry out this mission. He has also taken the athletic program to new levels of excellence in one of the biggest priorities I asked of him—building on the passion of Raider alumni and friends with record levels of financial support.”

Soon after arriving in 2020, Parker transitioned the Red Raider Club to the Raider Athletic Association. Since that change, individual donors to the Raider Athletic Association have more than doubled to nearly 500. The number of $1,000 donors has grown from seven to over 150 each of the past two years, and total annual giving has tripled since 2020. Corporate sponsorships have grown from 11 sponsors and $44,000 in revenue to 28 sponsors with $130,000 and an additional $65,000 in gift-in-kind support. In addition, over $4.5 million in capital funds has been secured for the renovation and expansion of the Bultman Center to date.

“I am deeply grateful for the tireless work Micah has invested in growing support for athletics at Northwestern, along with Director of Athletic Advancement Steve Jacob,” says Christy. “The Raider Athletic Association is poised to garner even greater levels of support for Raider athletics long into the future.”

When previously at California Baptist, Parker oversaw the institution’s transitions from the NAIA to NCAA Division II and then NCAA Division I—and an invitation to the Western Athletic Conference. He created a corporate sponsorship program and athletic development board, increasing annual revenue of donations, ticket and corporate sales from less than $180,000 to more than $1.5 million annually. Under his leadership, California Baptist opened an $80 million, 5,050-seat events center in 2017, won the NCAA Division II Learfield Cup in 2018 and won the PacWest Commissioner’s Cup five years in a row.

Northwestern will begin a search to identify the next athletic director immediately.