Coker’s Bell Selected for NCAA Pathway Program
Coker College Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations Jennifer Bell has been selected to participate in the NCAA Pathway Program. Bell is one of just 25 senior-level college athletic administrators from Divisions I, II and III selected to participate in the yearlong intensive, experiential learning opportunity.
A committee that includes current athletics administrators and past program attendees, across all NCAA divisions, selected the participants for the yearlong experiential learning opportunity.
The Pathway Program provides an unprecedented opportunity for senior-level athletics administrators to gain insight into every facet of an athletics department, preparing them to become well-rounded leaders who are equipped with the tools an effective athletics director needs. Each program participant is mentored by a current NCAA athletics director and a current university chancellor or president who have committed to helping the Pathway participants grow during the program and after completing it.
"I am extremely honored to be selected for this incredible opportunity," said Bell. "I look forward to gaining more insight about what it takes to be a director of athletics. Even more so, I look forward to going through the program with and learning from so many outstanding athletics administrators along the way."
Bell joined the Coker staff as the Associate AD for Internal Operations in July of 2016.
Bell came to Coker after spending 18 years at fellow South Atlantic Conference school, Anderson University. Bell held several positions while at Anderson, most recently serving as the Trojan's Associate Director of Athletics.
Bell has served as an athletic administrator at Anderson since 2008, overseeing NCAA compliance, volleyball and soccer, as well as serving as the Trojan's Senior Woman Administrator. In 2011 she was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director and was then promoted to Associate Athletic Director in 2015.
Before devoting her attention to working in athletic administration at Anderson, Bell served as the Trojan's head women's volleyball coach for 11 seasons. She compiled an overall record of 207-176 and led the Trojans to eight winning seasons and 19 or more victories in a season seven times. After becoming a full member of Conference Carolinas in 1999, Bell's teams also posted a conference record of 116-66 and the Trojans finished in fourth place or higher six times, including a second-place finish in 2001 and captured the 2008 Conference Carolinas Tournament title, marking the Trojans first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They won 11 or more league matches eight times and played in the conference championship match on four occasions ('99, '01, '02 and '08).
She coached 27 All-Conference players, one conference Player of the Year and a conference tournament MVP. She was named NAIA Southeast Independent Sectional Coach of the Year following her first season at Anderson after leading the Trojans to a 17-15 overall record and winning the NAIA Southeast Independent Sectional Tournament for the first time in school history.
As an encore, Bell was named conference Coach of the Year in 1999 after guiding the Trojans to a 20-13 overall mark and 12-4 in Conference Carolinas. During the 1999 seasons her team set the school record for wins in a season, which would later be broken in 2002 (23), and yet again in 2004 (25).
In addition to the 2008 Conference Carolinas tournament title, Bell's teams claimed numerous tournament championships, including the Montreat Invitational ('98), Tusculum Invitational ('04), and the Anderson Invitational ('02, '04 and '05).
Prior to her time at Anderson, Bell was the head coach at Wofford College for four years and guiding the Terrier volleyball program during its transition from an NCAA Division II Independent to a Division I Southern Conference team.
A native of Spartanburg, S.C., Bell played for highly-renowned coach Paula Kirkland at Dorman High School. She graduated from Wofford College in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. While there, she set single match, season and career records in assists and service aces. Following her senior season, she was named Most Valuable Player for the Terriers.
She received her master's degree from Coker in College Athletic Administration in December of 2015.
Bell and her fellow Pathway participants will begin their journey in late June with a weeklong session at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis, followed with quarterly meetings throughout the year, and culminating in June 2018 at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention in Washington, D.C.
Bell is the second Coker senior-level athletics administrator to be selected to the Pathway Program in the past two years. Associate Athletic Director for External Operations Christian Stryker was selected for the program last year and graduated in January of 2017.