Shepard changes lanes to full time administration

Shepard takes new role as associate athletic director after 13 years of leading the swim team.

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Shepard changes lanes to full time administration

Photo courtesy of Andrew Daughters

Photo courtesy of Andrew Daughters

Photo courtesy of Andrew Daughters

Photo courtesy of Andrew Daughters

Jack Finck, Writer

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Eddie Shepard trades in his stopwatch this summer after 13 years of coaching to accept a promotion to the new position of associate athletic director for internal operations.

A Full Time Position

For the last five years, Shepard has juggled the role of assistant athletic director for internal operations with his head coaching job, but increased administrative demands have prompted the need for a full time position.

“What’s happened this year is that the administrative side of my job has become much larger and it’s made it so hard for me to juggle both coaching and administration,” Shepard said. “And the administrative burden on our athletic director has become incredible, and just not something that she can handle alone. So we kind of made the decision that I need to either step away from the administrative side of things and just focus on coaching … or I could step into the associate athletic director role and step away from the coaching to take on more of the administrative burden.”

Not Easy

The decision to step away from coaching was not easy for Shepard, especially after having to make the decision before for a one-year sabbatical in 2010. He leaves the program after a record-breaking season. The women took fourth in the NAIA National Tournament, with the program’s first champion diver, five individual champions and 18 All-Americans.

“It was a super hard decision,” Shepard said. “This was my 13th year coaching and, I mean I absolutely loved it. I felt like I always had the perfect job in that I really got to know students in the classroom through teaching, I got to be involved in the administrative side of things and I got to be a coach in terms of getting to know athletes, not for just one semester, but having a student athlete for four years and getting to see them graduate.”

Increased Responsibility

His enjoyment of his time as assistant athletic director factored into his decision, as did his family. Shepard has a wife and two children and looks forward to more consistent work hours.

With the promotion, Shepard will take on an increased responsibility in overseeing the budget, as well as many of the coaches on staff. He will also focus on the experience of the student athletes, making sure they enjoy themselves and can thrive on their respective teams. One of the new challenges will be providing resources for athletes to keep on top of schoolwork with the possibility of added travel in the potential move to NCAA Division II. Shepard plans to work with Academic Advising to make sure athletes have all the resources to succeed.

Recent Success

While this position shift will happen this summer, around the time Biola hopes to hear back from the NCAA, it does not depend on acceptance into the NCAA. The recent success of Biola Athletics as well as the increase in the Athletic Department has created the need for another full-time administrative position.

“It really is needed in terms of doing athletics well here at Biola. We do so many things well here and Athletics is one of the those things where we really started to shine a little bit in terms of trying to develop not only a good student-athlete community but a community that really gives back to the rest of Biola.”

Reduced Course Load

Shepard plans to retain his position as an adjunct bible professor at Biola, but will probably have a slightly reduced course load.  
“I’m excited about it,” Shepard said. “I think it will be a new phase in life but I really enjoy working here and everything that I do.”