The College of Southern Maryland’s Executive Director of Student Life and Athletics Michelle Ruble has been named the president of the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA). Ruble has played a pivotal role in putting CSM’s athletes and athletic programs at the top of the leader boards in the region, state and beyond – since joining the CSM team 18 years ago.
Ruble said she is thrilled and honored to accept the appointment as NATYCAA. Established in 1987, NATYCAA is the only professional organization that represents all two year institutions of higher education in the United States.
“It will certainly be an honor to lead this organization and assist in the collaborative efforts at all levels,” said Ruble, in a recent NATYCAA press release. “This network provides so many opportunities to develop in our field, and I look forward to learning more about leadership and athletics business from my distinguished predecessors and colleagues. The NATYCAA Officers and Executive Committee remain dedicated to providing professional development for athletics directors at two-year colleges.”
“This is a dynamic organization,” Ruble added. “NATYCAA shares information and learns about whatever is emerging in our business, from mental health to athletic training to Title IV to leadership skills. Our roundtables for best practices and shared ideas is really enlightening and powerful. As is any additional networking among the colleges, this experience is highly beneficial.”
According to the release, Ruble replaced 2018-19 President Doug Spiwak, director of athletics at Harper College, who will transition to immediate past president. Serving alongside Ruble are: 1st Vice President Joe Jennum, director of athletics, Mt. San Antonio College; 2nd Vice President Rob Chaney, director of athletics, Tallahassee Community College; 3rd Vice President Kevin Salisbury, interim director of athletics at the Community College of Rhode Island; Secretary Tammy Davis, director of athletics, Western Texas College; and Treasurer Gary Broadhurst, director of athletics, Mohawk Valley Community College.
Before her NATYCAA appointment, Ruble served in leadership positions in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), chairing various committees and was named Women’s 2nd Vice President in July 2014. She was named the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Under Armour Director of the Year in 2015; Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference (MDJUCO) Athletic Director of the Year in 2003; and MDJUCO Conference Sportsman of the Year in 2008 and 2012.
— NATYCAA (@NATYCAA2) June 18, 2019
Woman of Steel
Taking on these leadership roles has been a natural fit for Ruble. However, there are many things about Ruble’s path through life that were not always clear in the moment. For instance, when she first graduated college in 1989, her first job was at a sheet metal business.
“My father had worked there and they needed office help over a winter break from college,” Ruble said. “So when I graduated, I went back expecting to work there a short time to help them out. I ended up working there 12 years.”
During that time, though, she was also playing on a nationally ranked USAV women’s travel volleyball team. She said that one of her teammates was also the CSM volleyball coach at the time, and she recruited Ruble to help with summer camps at the college. That first summer camp led to coaching the team in the evenings while working full time at the sheet metal business during the day. Coaching led to Ruble working full time at CSM in January 2001 – first as athletic coordinator, then as athletic director and then executive director of Student Life and Athletics.
In her role as executive director of Student Life and Athletics, Ruble – a longtime resident of Southern Maryland – oversees CSM’s cocurricular and extracurricular programming by supporting and promoting student clubs, student government, athletics and student leadership development programs and activities. She has also been active with state, regional and several national organizations as part of her commitment to advance CSM students.
“Michelle is a leader who leads by example,” said CSM Assistant Athletic Director Sarah Williams. “What I mean by that is over the nine years I have been assistant athletic director, I have been able to watch how she leads and communicates with our coaches and athletes. She creates a positive athletic culture in our programs because she truly cares.”
Williams said Ruble takes the time to understand every sport the college offers, and gets to know the coaches and athletes, as well.
“She dedicates time to giving back to our local high school athletic programs and takes time out of her schedule to meet with student-athletes to talk about what they want to do or accomplish after their time here at CSM,” Williams said.
Ruble shared that all of her many professional titles, her most important title is that of ‘mom.’ Her daughter Devin was on the La Plata High School volleyball and softball teams that made huge strides in the state, becoming a major competitor in Maryland athletics. Ruble’s son, Brock, just signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2019 NFL Draft.
The College of Southern Maryland is one of the only multi-campus community colleges in Maryland where you can take classes online or on any campus and play in your choice of 12 NJCAA athletic programs. For information on CSM’s programs, visit http://athletics.csmd.edu.