Anderson University has announced the hiring of Michael Zapolski as the new Athletic Director for the 2003-04 school year. Zapolski replaces Barrett Bates, who has been the Athletic Director since 1983 and at the University since 1976. "It's a real exciting day for Anderson University Athletics," AU President James Edwards said. "We are fortunate to be able to find a young person with the wealth of experience and who understands the challenge of a Division III program. He's a very likable guy and will have a fine relationship with the campus."
Zapolski recently served as Associate Athletic Director at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He is a 1985 graduate of Pepperdine and held his previous position for the last two years. Zapolski has also worked as the Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director at Pepperdine over the past 20 years.
Zapolski assisted the Director of Athletics in the daily operation of the department, and worked closely in the areas of marketing and special event planning. He was also involved in supervising sports programs and coaches and assists in long-term strategic planning for the department. Zapolski was actively involved in future scheduling, particularly for men's and women's basketball.
His myriad of public relations-related duties included the dissemination of press releases, statistical updates, records upkeep, compilation of media guides, assisting in promotions and maintaining local and national media contacts. He negotiated the department's recent radio, television and internet streaming contracts.
A native of Boulder City, Nevada, Zapolski earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Pepperdine in 1985, graduating magna cum laude. He added his master's degree in Business Administration in 2000.
Since Zapolski began working at the university in October of 1983, a total of 98 Pepperdine teams have advanced to post-season play. The Waves have won six NCAA Division I team championships—baseball in 1992, men's golf in 1997, men's volleyball in 1985, 1986 and 1992 and water polo in 1997—plus individual NCAA titles in men’s tennis on three occasions.
Zapolski is a member of several national organizations including the College Sports Information Director of America, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and the U.S. Volleyball Media Association. Zapolski toured Eastern Europe in a sports information capacity during the summer of 1984 with an Athletes in Action basketball team. Zapolski and his wife, Stacey, a former elementary school teacher who earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at Pepperdine have a daughter, Haley, and two sons, Luke and Noah.
"We’re excited about the addition of Mike to the Athletic Department and he brings a great deal of knowledge and experience in athletic administration to the program," Director of Sports Medicine Steve Risinger said. "We look forward to his leadership and taking us in the direction the department needs to go. I look forward to working with him."
"I'm excited about him coming," AU baseball coach Don Brandon said. "I think he will bring in some fresh ideas that will be instrumental in bringing about positive changes in the Athletic Department."
— Justin Bates is the Sports Information Director for Anderson University