NWACC hires first full-time athletic director
NorthWest Arkansas Community College on Tuesday announced the selection of Brooke Brewer, a teacher at Bentonville West High School, as the first full-time leader of its newly formed athletic department.
Why it matters: Intercollegiate athletics are not a guaranteed amenity at a community college, but the new hire signals they're a priority for the region's flagship community school.
- The annual salary range for the job is $85,000 to $95,000, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Flashback: The NWACC Board of Trustees voted in 2019 to start an intercollegiate cross-country program. The men's and women's programs launched in 2021.
- In March, the board approved a $4 student fee per credit hour to fund campus activities, student life and athletics programming, per the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A full-time student with 15 credit hours will pay $60 per semester in activities/athletics fees, starting this fall.
What they're saying: Athletics can help build a sense of community at a school and create common ground for students with different backgrounds, Brewer told Axios. She said she's looking forward to helping build a successful program for student athletes.
What's next: Brewer's first order of business will be to complete a feasibility study to look at which sports the college should consider adding and the costs to do so. NWACC will have to consider the facilities it has — students can't play basketball without a basketball court, she noted.
- Brewer also wants to help rebuild the intramural programs that suffered because of COVID-19.
- She starts Aug. 14.
Background: Brewer has coached dance and cheer at Bentonville West. She was a program director and coach in the Alma School District for seven years. She has a master's degree in teaching from Southern Arkansas University, according to NWACC.
Of note: After enduring a pandemic-induced dip in enrollment, the community college bounced back this year with a 16% increase in enrollment — more than 7,400 students — over spring 2022.
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