GNAC Administrator Spotlight: NNU's Kelli Lindley
Lindley (left), shown here at an awards ceremony with former softball player Kim Orr, has been the athletic director at Northwest Nazarene since March 2015.
Lindley (left), shown here at an awards ceremony with former softball player Kim Orr, has been the athletic director at Northwest Nazarene since March 2015.
Kelli Lindley
Kelli Lindley

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Part of a regular series.

Throughout the year, uses this space to profile conference student-athletes, coaches, and administrators. Collectively, it is these individuals who make the GNAC one of the top NCAA Division II athletic conferences in the nation. 

Name: Kelli Lindley
Role: Athletic Director
School: Washington State University (undergraduate) & Gonzaga University (graduate)
Hometown: Nampa, Idaho

Why Did You Decide To Work In Collegiate Athletics?: I played basketball at Washington State University and enjoyed that experience. I was fortunate enough to get an assistant coaching position at Gonzaga University after I graduated and fell in love with college coaching. After several years of coaching, I moved into athletic administration, which is equally challenging and rewarding.

Who Has Influenced You The Most As A Professional - Either As An Inspiration, A Mentor Or Philosophically?: As a coach, I was greatly impacted by my dad, who was a successful high school coach in Oregon (he also coached me). I definitely learned that hard work, mental toughness and doing the little things well are essential qualities to success. Barb Robertson, a former associate athletic director at NNU, also played an enormous role in influencing my leadership style. She was incredibly effective at motivating others and getting the best out of them through love and investing in relationships.

Biggest Obstacle Overcome As A Professional: Balancing my personal and professional life. It is very challenging to find enough time to invest in family and friends while still doing what it takes to be exceptional at my job.

What Does Division II Mean To You?: NCAA Division II offers the most well-rounded experience for student-athletes. Division II focuses on developing the whole person, not just the athletic side or academic side. Division II (particularly at a place like NNU) has outstanding and rigorous academics, high-level athletics and an environment where student-athletes are challenged to grow socially and spiritually. I believe this is the ultimate goal for any student-athlete — that their college experience would prepare them to be productive, prepared and successful members of society.

Extracurricular Activities: Playing sports with my boys and working out.

Best Advice You Would Give To Student-Athletes: Get involved in the campus and community life that is part of your university. There are so many awesome ways to get connected with people outside of your sport and have a well-rounded, fulfilling college experience. Those relationships don't have to take away from reaching your potential as a student-athlete, but rather can help build connections for your future both inside and outside of athletics.

If You Could Spend The Day With One Person (Past Or Present), Who Would It Be (And Why)?: John Wooden. I have really enjoyed reading his books and learning about his philosophy of coaching and life.

Favorite Sports Team: Any team from NNU.

Favorite Athlete: Peyton Manning

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: Completing the first 5K road race with my two sons.