Montreat College athletic director tops in conference

Special to Black Mountain News
Montreat College athletic director Jose Larios, left, was named the Athletics Director of the Year in the Appalachian Athletic Conference for 2018-19.

Montreat College athletic director Jose Larios was named the Appalachian Athletic Conference Athletics Director of the Year, the conference announced on May 20. 

Nominations were accepted and voted on by each member institution's athletics director at the conference's annual Council of Athletics Administrators and Faculty Athletic Representatives (FAR) spring meetings, which took place at the Kingsport Visitors Center in Tennessee.

Montreat College has grown and improved its athletic facilities and student-athlete experience during Larios' five-year tenure. 

"I'm humbled to be honored in this way. We have so many great athletic directors in our league, so this is a really major honor for Montreat College," said Larios of receiving his first Athletics Director of the Year Award. "Our improvements over the years have only come due to the support of President Maurer and the Executive Leadership Team. I share this honor with our amazing coaches and athletic staff. The Christ-centered work they do each day is paramount to Montreat College's mission. I'm grateful for my AAC colleagues to recognize the momentum on our campus through athletics."

Larios was nominated by Donny Mayfield, athletics director at Tennessee Wesleyan University.

"Jose has done a terrific job at Montreat College over the last several years," Mayfield said. "It's evident in the growth of his facilities and student athlete experience. I also enjoy hearing about what he does with his Champions of Character program. He's very active in our conference as well as at the national level, and I think he's extremely deserving of this honor and recognition."

This year, Larios saw Montreat College's highest finish in the AAC Duard Walker All-Sports Standings in 16 years, including an AAC Championship title for men's cross country and men's indoor track and field. Men's basketball also finished as regular-season and AAC tournament runners-up en route to their first NAIA Tournament appearance since 2006.

Academically, Montreat College posted a top-3 total for AAC All-Academic honorees the past two years.

Over the past five years, Larios led the growth of Montreat College's student athlete population with an increase of more than 150 while overseeing multiple athletic facility projects, such as the planning and construction of Pulliam Stadium's track and turf field, as well as the new Roxy Hines Softball Field.

Larios also supervised renovations to the McAlister Fitness Center, Newell Baseball Field, the women's basketball locker room and the redesign of the basketball and volleyball court.