Oct. 8, 2008
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Long-time University of Iowa associate athletics director Fred Mims received the 2008 Dr. Gene Hooks Award presented by the NCAA Division IA Athletics Directors Association.
The Hooks Award is presented annually to an athletics department staff member who has made a significant contribution to its institution’s CHAMPS program. CHAMPS is an acronym for CHallenging Athletes Minds for Personal Success. The award is named in honor of Dr. Gene Hooks, the association’s first executive director and an advocate of the association’s commitment to the well-being of the student-athlete.
During the 2000-01 academic year, the University of Iowa Athletics Department was one of four nationwide to be designated a “Program of Excellence” by the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association for its CHAMPS/LifeSkills program. The “Program of Excellence” recognizes Division 1A athletic programs that have established student-athlete welfare as the cornerstone of their operating principles.
“I am honored to be recognized by this national group, but to say I achieved this without the assistance of an outstanding staff and support each of the directors of athletics that I’ve had the pleasure of working with would simply be inaccurate,” Mim said.
“Together, we have built a culture at the University of Iowa that values student-athletes and their personal growth. I am proud of that culture and our collective efforts to build and maintain that culture.”
“Fred has dedicated his career to helping young people,” said Gary Barta, UI director of athletics. “This award is very prestigious and well deserved, and I’m so happy for Fred being singled out and honored by his national peers.”
The CHAMPS program was created by the NCAA in the early 1990s to focus on the total development of student-athletes. The program has five parts or commitments: academic excellence, athletic excellence, personal development, service and career development. The program strives to assist student-athletes in obtaining skills to become successful leaders and responsible citizens.
The University of Iowa has a long-standing commitment to the growth and development of its student-athletes. Since its creation by then UI director of athletics C.W. “Bump” Elliott and Mims in the 1970s , the UI’s Office of Athletics Student Services has been a pioneer in providing academic support services for its student-athletes. The UI program is a model for other schools developing their own programs. Up to 20 professionals associated with the office work to ensure that student-athletes get the most out of their academic and athletics experience at the UI.