The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), has announced that Luther College senior Paul Blackburn, has been selected for the NCAA III Student Immersion Program.
Each year, 40 students that have been nominated by administrators from their respective institutions, are selected for the NCAA III Student Immersion Program. This program began in 2015 at the recommendation of the Division III Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, the Division III governance staff and the NCAA Office of Inclusion.
The selected students are fully funded to attend the NCAA Convention that will be held Jan. 17-20, 2018 in Indianapolis, Ind. The students are exposed to Division III, its members and its governance process. In addition to the scheduled Division III programming, grant recipients receive DiSC training, and attend welcome and debriefing meetings. The goal is to build a pipeline of talented ethnic minority candidates, with an interest in Division III coaching and/or administration, in an effort to ultimately diversify the division.
"It is a true honor to be accepted in the NCAA Student Immersion Program,” stated Blackburn. “Being able to represent Luther College at the NCAA Convention is an amazing opportunity for me to network and create relationships with people that have the same passion for working in sports as I do. I am excited to have the chance to travel to Indianapolis and learn more about the NCAA. I know that this experience will benefit me in helping me advance my career after Luther.”
Blackburn, a 2014 graduate of Ola High School, McDonough, Ga., has been assisting the men’s basketball program the past two years.
"Paul started out as a player for us and has transitioned to an outstanding student assistant coach,” commented head men’s basketball coach Mark Franzen. “He has responsibilities coaching on the floor every day and is also involved in the recruiting process. This year (2017-18), he will take on the added role of coaching our junior varsity team that will play a 14-game schedule."