Positively Promoting the Student Athlete Since 1992

KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Southeastern University Director of Athletics Drew Watson was honored as the NAIA Athletic Director of the Year, as announced as part of the association’s National Awards Day.
Watson was selected for his contributions and achievements within his institution’s athletics department and at a national level.
“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the many people who have been part of this amazing journey, without whom recognition like this does not happen,” said Watson. “Special thanks to Dr. Kent Ingle for the opportunity to pursue my passion at SEU, to Dr. Chris Owen for his investment into me personally and professionally, and to the Fire Athletic coaches, staff, and student athletes who make coming to work each day an incredibly exciting adventure. “To God be the Glory.”
In seven years as athletic director at Southeastern University, Watson has significantly grown and enhanced the athletic department through his vision, execution, and ability to nurture both students and coaches. Under Watson’s leadership, the department has grown both in size and achievement, expanding from 134 student-athletes in eight sports to 430 athletes in 18 sports.
“Drew is an incredible leader who has greatly expanded our athletic programs here at Southeastern University in both quality and quantity,” said Southeastern University President Dr. Kent Ingle. “He has remained committed to the success of student-athletes in the classroom and in competition while creating a Christ-centered environment for our students to thrive in. I could not be more proud of him to receive this prestigious award.”
The Fire have won 29 conference titles, 22 individual conference championships, and have had 63 All-Americans.
“For the last eight years, I have had the privilege of watching Drew’s growth and success as a leader. He’s certainly earned this recognition,” said Executive Vice President Chris Owen. “We celebrate the expansion of programs and competitive accomplishments, but even more so, we are proud of the culture he has built among our coaches and student-athletes.”
During the 2018-19 school year, Southeastern recorded its second-straight Top 20 finish in the Learfield Director’s Cup standings, and won The Sun Conference Commissioner’s Cup for the first time since joining the league in 2009.
Outside of his on-campus achievements, Watson has been significantly involved in leadership at the conference and national levels, having served previously on The Sun Conference’s Executive Committee, and is a member of the NAIA Conduct and Ethics Committee, Competitive Experience Committee, and the NAIA Athletic Directors Association Board of Directors. Additionally, he was the chair of the task force that studied divisions in basketball.
“Finally, I am grateful for my colleagues in The Sun Conference, partners in the pursuit of excellence,” said Watson.