2015-16 RRAC Athletic Director of the Year
Dr. Joseph Morale (Wiley)
WACO, Texas – Relying on a wealth of experience and success in college administration, Dr. Joseph Morale stepped into the role of athletic director at Wiley College two years ago. The transition from student affairs to sports was accomplished with ease as evidenced by Morale's selection as the 2015-16 RRAC Athletic Director of the Year in a vote by his conference peers.
The RRAC AD of the Year award recognizes the athletic director who had the best year in overall program improvement, facility development, game administration, NAIA Champions of Character commitment, ability to hire and keep quality coaches, program growth in sports and revenue opportunities, contributions at the conference and national levels, and student-athlete development.
Morale is the second Wiley athletic director to win the award in the last three years. As Vice President of Student Affairs and Retention Services – which is still his primary title – he played an advisory role in Wiley athletics when Janet Eaton was named RRAC AD of the Year in 2013-14. Morale already touched so many aspects of the Wiley campus environment that it made sense to bring his expertise to the athletic department.
"He's had a huge impact on this department especially with us losing a quality athletic director like Janet," says Wiley Men's Basketball Coach Jameus Hartsfield. "I think there was no better replacement than him. His leadership, his administrative skills and his dedication to Wiley College and the athletic department is on display. It trickles down through the entire coaching staff as well as the student body."
During Morale's tenure, Wiley built its first athletics website and broadened its social media capabilities. He has improved its playing and training facilities, and they have hosted multiple conference championship events in his tenure. The Wildcats served as hosts of the RRAC Basketball Tournament for the third straight year in March, and they earned the right to organize the conference's track & field championships next year.
Administrative capabilities have translated into further success on the field as Wiley finished second in the RRAC All-Sports standings for the third straight year. The Wildcats won their first RRAC men's soccer title in the fall, and they capped the spring with a third place finish in the NAIA Men's Track & Field National Championships last week. While achieving the best team finish ever by an RRAC member in the event, two student-athletes won individual national titles. In total, Wiley has won 15 conference championships or tournaments during Morale's tenure.
However, Morale's favorite accomplishment is Wiley's RRAC GPA Award for the best academic achievement in the conference last year.
"The Wiley athletic department continues to rise to new heights under the leadership of Dr. Morale," applauds Donnita Rogers, Athletic Director at Langston University. "Wiley's launch of a new athletic website, his quest to hang banners for all former Wiley championships and his tireless efforts to improve on the team and fan experience at the RRAC postseason basketball tournament are just a few of the many reasons why Dr. Morale is deserving of this prestigious award."
Previously, Morale honed his skills as part of the administration at Texas College. While there, he was recognized for three consecutive years as the Outstanding Vice President for Student Affairs by the Texas Association of Developing Colleges and Schools.
Today, Morale is a fixture at Wiley where he has influenced the school's weekday chapel service, Sunday chapel services, Wiley days throughout the state of Texas, Religious Emphasis Week, Women of Excellence Week, and Men of Strength Week. Additionally, he has been an advocate of community service and outreach, encouraging students in each unit of his division to be involved in the Marshall and East Texas communities.
Morale's knowledge and ability as an administrator was recognized during Wiley's successful site visit for Reaffirmation of Accreditation. The steering committee provided verbal and written commendations after being impressed by Morale's leadership and the student-centered programs that he helped develop.
During the 10 years that Morale was responsible for enrollment at Wiley, the college experienced an increase in enrollment each year.
Now, entering his third year as athletic director, Morale is building a similar track record for Wiley in athletics with continual improvement and unprecedented success.