Jun 04, 2018
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio--North Coast Athletic Conference Assistant Executive Director Bret Billhardt has accepted the position of Senior Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Operations at Wittenberg University.
Billhardt joined the NCAC for the 2010-11 academic year as an intern in the position of assistant to the Executive Director. He has served as an assistant director for the past seven years becoming increasingly involved in all aspects of conference operations, including daily interactions with coaches and athletic administrators, the conference award program and NCAA and NCAC compliance.
"We are extremely fortunate to have Bret accept our offer to join our atheltic department," said Director of Athletics and Recreation Dr. Gary Williams. "Many of us have interacted with Bret through his work with the conference office and have seen firsthand that he is a focused, driven, and dedicated professional who we will add tremendous value and perspective to our coaching staff, student-athletes and to our campus. Bret has so much potential to help our department run more efficiently and effectively and to provide the administrative leadership we need as we continue to strive to be a nationally recognized leader in building a championship culture with our coaches and athletics on the field, in the classroom, and throughout their lifetimes."
"I want to publicly thank Patrick Rittenhouse for all he did professionally and personally for me and Wittenberg," continued Williams. "Patrick is one of the most amazing young leaders I have had the honor to work alongside. I am forever indebted to him for his support, friendship, and loyalty through some very difficult times and decisions over the years. I know he is destined for something incredible and hope he will continue to allow us to share in his success beyond his days on campus."
Billhardt has been heavily involved in conference scheduling, conference championships and the administration of the Division III Strategic Conference Grant program. Billhardt also served as the NCAC SAAC liaison. In that role, he forged a partnership with the Presidents' Athletic Conference to create the highly successful DIII Week Change War, which has raised over $18,000 between the two conferences, benefitting five different charitable foundations. Billhardt was recently accepted into the prestigious NCAA Pathway Program, a year-long, experiential learning opportunity for selected participants representing NCAA Divisions I, II and III designed to elevate senior athletic administrators into the athletic director position.
"I'm excited for this opportunity for Bret," said NCAC Executive Director Keri Alexander Luchowski. "He took a chance on a one-year internship eight years ago, just as we we took a chance on him. Since then it has been an honor to watch him mature into the capable young administrator that he is today. I will miss the daily interaction with him, but am thrilled that he's continuing his professional career in the NCAC. I am confident he will be a great addition to the Wittenberg community."
Prior to the NCAC, he spent two years as assistant sports information director at Washington & Jefferson College, where he compiled statistics, designed publications, updated the Presidents' website and was a media contact for the school's 26 varsity sports.
"I would like to thank Wittenberg President Dr. Michael L. Frandsen, Director of Athletics & Recreation Gary Williams and the entire search committee for providing me with this opportunity to step into an administrative role in a campus environment. While I am extremely grateful for this opportunity with Wittenberg University, I also want to thank NCAC Executive Director Keri Alexander Luchowski for putting me in a position to make this career move by taking a chance on a young and unproven individual in the field eight years ago. I have cherished my time working with all of the coaches, administrators, sports information directors, faculty and presidents in the NCAC over the past eight years, and am extremely blessed to be able to still work side-by-side with many of those individuals within my new role at Wittenberg University."