Sports

Sunbirds name new AD

Fresno Pacific announced 2008 Sunbirds graduate Aaron Henderson as its athletic director. The university has begun its first academic year as a full NCAA Division II member school.
Fresno Pacific announced 2008 Sunbirds graduate Aaron Henderson as its athletic director. The university has begun its first academic year as a full NCAA Division II member school. COURTESY OF FRESNO PACIFIC

Fresno Pacific hired a new athletic director just as the university has launched its first year as a full NCAA Division II member school.

Aaron Henderson is a former Sunbirds assistant AD and coach who had spent the past two years as Immanuel High athletic director.

Henderson, 30, was named Wednesday as the replacement for Leslie Schuemann, who left to become associate commissioner of the Heartland Conference.

“I’m excited to come back to a great university,” said Henderson, who graduated from Fresno Pacific in 2008. “I’ve been on this campus seven years total and I did pretty much everything from running budgets, fundraising, day-to-day operations.

“I’m ready for this challenge. I think my experience here will help tremendously. I got to know the people on campus and people in the Central Valley who are tied to the university. And I’m just really excited to reach out to our alumni base and work to integrate our campus.”

Aaron Henderson served as Fresno Pacific assistant athletic director for four seasons before becoming Immanuel High’s athletic director in 2013

Henderson oversaw 18 sports and supervised nearly 60 coaches at Immanuel. He spent four years as a Fresno Pacific assistant athletic director and seven as a men’s basketball assistant.

As an undergraduate, Henderson played basketball and competed in track and field.

“When one of our own alumni is selected in a national search, we are doubly pleased,” Fresno Pacific President Dr. Richard Kriegbaum said in a news release.

“Aaron has a broad and strong reputation among FPU alumni and other supporters, a vital Christian commitment, a passion for holistic student-athlete success, a heart for serving both the FPU campus and the Central Valley community, and the skills and personality to make great things happen.”

4Years spent by Fresno Pacific on provisional NCAA D-II status until being approved for full membership in July

As a full-time D-II member, Fresno Pacific is eligible for NCAA postseason play. It completes a four-year transition that was extended a year because of a sanction. A self-initiated investigation into the men’s and women’s tennis programs uncovered violations involving extra benefits, financial aid and ethical conduct.

Fresno Pacific suspended its tennis teams through at least the 2015-16 season and the NCAA approved an additional provisional year, during which no other issues arose. An NCAA membership panel ratified the Sunbirds’ D-II membership on July 31.

Bryant-Jon Anteola: 559-441-6362, @Banteola_TheBee

Aaron Henderson file

  • Age: 30
  • Previous position: Immanuel High athletic director
  • Education: Bachelor’s, master’s from Fresno Pacific; attended College of the Sequoias; graduated from Exeter High
  • Also: Played basketball and competed in track and field at Fresno Pacific; spent four years as Sunbirds assistant athletic director and seven as men’s basketball assistant
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