NEW ORLEANS — The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Tuesday that Xavier University of Louisiana’s Jason Horn is the NAIA National Athletics Director of the Year for 2019-20.
Horn is the first African American to receive this prestigious award, the first from an HBCU, the first from a Louisiana NAIA member and the second from the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference.
“Jason’s integrity and talent have empowered our staff, coaches and student-athletes to succeed in competition, in the classroom and in the communities they serve,” XULA President Reynold Verret said. “Jason continues to inspire our program to reach even higher while supporting Xavier’s academic mission in creative and impactful ways.”
Said Curtis Wright, XULA vice president for student affairs: “Jason is a transformative campus leader and most deserving of this honor. I’m so excited that his hard work and dedication to our campus and the profession is being recognized by the NAIA.”
Horn joined the XULA staff in March 2014 as director of athletics and recreation and now holds the title of assistant vice president for student affairs/director of athletics & recreation.
During Horn’s XULA tenure:
- XULA teams qualified for NAIA national tournaments 44 times in 54 opportunities. Men’s tennis became a three-time national runner-up. Women’s tennis reached the national semifinals four times.
- XULA won 32 conference or NAIA unaffiliated group team championships.
- XULA finished 43rd in 2018-19 with a school-record 341.5 points in the NAIA Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings.
- Every year the department earned an NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star award.
- There have been average home attendance gains by the Convocation Center’s three primary tenants: men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball.
- The department’s 2.99 GPA for 2019-20 is the highest in the past 10 years.
- XULA instituted live internet broadcasts — free to all — of all home basketball and volleyball contests.
- The number of intercollegiate teams increased to 13 in 2020-21 with the return of baseball and the debut of softball. This past year women’s indoor track and field returned, and coed competitive cheer made its debut and finished the year ranked 18th in the NAIA in points per meet.
“Jason came to us with a wealth of experience and knowledge. That experience and knowledge have been vital to our department’s growth and continued success,” said longtime XULA Athletics publicist Ed Cassiere. “Jason’s motto for the department is ‘Win, grow, graduate.’ As a 15th-year member of this department, I can say unhesitatingly that these goals are met regularly. It’s a great time to be part of Xavier Athletics.”
Horn was selected from the pool of NAIA conference athletic directors of the year. He will be formally recognized at the 2021 NAIA Awards Banquet, part of the NAIA National Convention scheduled for April 15-19 in New Orleans.
Horn — a Detroit native and a University of Michigan graduate — was announced in May as GCAC Athletic Director of the Year for the second consecutive year and the third time in four years.
Courtesy: XULA Athletics