NAIA names Southwestern a 5-Star institution

KANSAS CITY, Missouri -- The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) has announced that Southwestern Assemblies of God University has been named a recipient of the Champions of Character Five Star Award for the 2010-11 school year.

SAGU received the award based on a demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character and earned points in each of the following categories: character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. The Lions also earned points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages.

“We are pleased to be recognized as a Champions of Character Institution,” said Jesse Godding, Southwestern’s Athletic Director. “This award means that our athletes and coaches are carrying out the mission of not only the institution but the athletic governing body it associates with in the NAIA.”

Godding has also served as the Lions football head coach for ten years. Terry Phipps is the Vice President for Student Services and teams with Godding in leadership of all SAGU athletics.

The announcement was made by Kathy Busch, the NAIA’s Champions of Character Coordinator.

“In today's complex college athletic environments – where success is sometimes only measured by wins and losses – strengthening effective athletic departments and leadership is key to advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics,” said Kristin Gillette, NAIA Director of Champions of Character. “The NAIA supports and recognizes member institutions and conferences using sport as a vehicle to teach life lessons. No doubt this is a point of differentiation in college athletics and making a huge impact on our 60,000 student-athletes.”

Institutions are measured using the NAIA Scorecard and is based on the NAIA’s flagship program Champions of Character, which emphasizes the five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. To receive this award, institutions must score at least 60 out of 100 possible points.

The Scorecard was crafted to convert the NAIA’s vision and strategy into measurable goals and to monitor progress towards advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics. The initiative supports performance-driven athletics while defining expectations and standards that drive successful teams and athletics departments.

For more information about the NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard and Five Star Award, visit

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The University was established in 1927, and now offers more than 60 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees on campus or online. More information is available at or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.

Contact: Mark “Link” Warde, Sports Information Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at 469-658-2847.