For her strong commitment to both athletic and academic success, Director of Athletics Pennie Parker has been named 2020’s NCAA Division II Nike Administrator of the Year.
Photo by Scott Cook
Pennie Parker joined Rollins in 2002 and has been serving as the director of athletics since 2006, during which time she has led the Tars to an era unprecedented success. She is just the second woman to serve as athletlcs director at Rollins, where she maintains the department’s excellent reputation both athletically and academically while focusing on the College’s mission of creating global citizens and responsible leaders.
Since Parker began leading the department, Rollins has won three NCAA Division II National Championships, 22 Sunshine State Conference titles, 13 SSC Tournaments, and five SSC Mayor’s Cup All-Sport trophies. She has partnered with the Office of Institutional Advancement to create seven endowed scholarships and secured funding to endow two head coaching positions.
In 2015, Parker was selected to serve on the NCAA Division II Management Council and was named chair of the NCAA Division II Management Council in 2018. Parker has also served on the Women Leaders in College Sports Board of Directors as well as on the NACDA Executive Committee, of which she was recently named secretary. Parker’s efforts were recognized by her peers in 2013 and 2017 as she was named Under Armour Division II Athletics Director of the Year.
Parker was appointed to the Division II Athletic Director’s Association (ADA) Board of Directors in 2011, serving as the president of the association for one year. During her tenure on the board, she acted as the liaison to the DII NCAA mentoring program and currently serves as the liaison for the distinguished NCAA Pathway Program.
In 2007, Parker was tasked with building two varsity programs from the ground up, and by the 2008 season, both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams were competing in NCAA Division II. The Tars women’s team has become a national powerhouse, reaching the national semifinals in 2012 and 2013.
During her time at Rollins, Parker has continued to grow the Athletics department’s academic profile. The College has received the Division II President’s Awards for Academic Excellence for nine consecutive seasons, and student-athletes have posted a GPA above 3.0 for more than 30 straight semesters. Under Parker’s leadership, seven student-athletes have been named valedictorians.
Parker has also spearheaded the department's technology advancements, including streaming HD video, social media, and mobile apps. This past May, she oversaw the transition of the end-of-season banquet into the Tommy Awards, an ESPY-style event that celebrates Rollins student-athletes.
"I’m honored and humbled to be selected for this award by an organization focused on empowering women in the athletics industry,” says Parker. “I love interacting with my colleagues and the amazing student-athletes at Rollins as we work to enhance the College’s tradition of athletic and academic excellence. Their passion, commitment, and desire to succeed inspire me every day.“
Prior to coming to Rollins, Parker served as the director of compliance at Florida State University, assistant athletic director for compliance at Jacksonville University, and compliance assistant at her alma mater, the University of Georgia.