Mark Perdue says he thinks it will be fun to oversee Lincoln College’s move from two-year to four-year athletics.

Perdue, who has been named as the new Director of Athletics at Lincoln College says his first priority will be the planned transition to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which is pending final approval at the NAIA’s annual convention in April.

“Having the opportunity to guide this transition was one of the things that really appealed to me,” Perdue said. “It will be fun to move from two to four years and I think it has a lot of potential to really change and grow our programs in a very positive way.”

Perdue, who was named Athletic Director of the Year in 2016 by the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, brings his experience as an athletic director at both NAIA and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) schools to Lincoln College.

Since 2011, Perdue has been the athletic director at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. Prior to that he was the athletic director at Spartanburg Methodist College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Asbury is a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) school. Spartanburg is a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) school.

“Mark brings 28 years of athletic administration, leadership and management to this position. We are very excited about his vision and plans for Lincoln College’s athletic program,” Lincoln College President David Gerlach said. “This will be an exciting year for athletics at Lincoln College and we are pleased that Mark has agreed to lead our athletic program.”

Perdue sees the transition as offering opportunities for the school, its athletes, its fans and the local community overall.

“Stability” is a term that Perdue uses often in describing the benefits of four-year athletics.

Having athletes come to Lincoln and stay for four years will help make the teams more stable and consistent, but he says it will also benefit the fans, who will have the opportunity to see outstanding athletes grow during their college careers. For athletes, it means a more stable and better planned future, with the knowledge that they will leave school with a bachelor’s degree.

With the athletes in the community for four years, Perdue sees benefits for the Lincoln and Logan County communities as well, because the public will get an opportunity to get to know the athletes and the athletes will have more opportunities for community involvement, connecting through service projects and through mentoring programs with local schools.

Getting the local community more involved in Lincoln College sports and getting Lincoln College student athletes more involved in the community will be a priority, he says.

Perdue is also anxious to bring the “Champions of Character” program of the NAIA to Lincoln College.

According to the NAIAA, the program seeks to “change the culture of sport” by providing training to instill values “that build character, so students, coaches and parents know, do and value the right thing on and off the field.”

The Champions of Character program focuses on five core values – integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. Students learn to understand how the values play out in both practice and competition. Coaches are taught how to intentionally define, model, shape and reinforce the values through their coaching and mentoring. Parents learn how their behavior is key to supporting their athletes.

As athletic director at Asbury University, Perdue oversaw 17 intercollegiate sports at the 1,800-student non-denominational Christian college in Wilmore, Kentucky, which is near Lexington. Perdue also taught sport psychology, health professions administration and theory of wellness courses.

Before he joined Asbury, Perdue was athletic director at Spartanburg Methodist College, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, from 2006 to 2010. At Spartanburg, he oversaw 13 intercollegiate sports in the NJCAA. At Spartanburg he was also the head golf coach.

Perdue holds a master’s degree in physical education with an emphasis on exercise physiology from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. He also received his bachelor’s degree from Marshall.