A friend of a friend-Dan Mara and Tim Griggs-March 5

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”.

The post below is the story for March 5, 2015. My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

A good friend of mine Tim Griggs, was a former Director of Athletics at Coker College, in Hartsville, SC. Tim was my unofficial NCAA mentor when I served on a number of NCAA leadership committees from 2008-2013. One of our committee meetings took us to Colorado and Tim introduced me to a beer I had never had or heard of at the time called Fat Tire. It was an Amber Lager brewed by New Belgium Brewery located in Fort Collins, Colorado. New Belgium prides itself on being wind powered and employee owned and is scheduled to open a brewery soon near Asheville, NC.

Tim Griggs was more than an Athletic Director at Coker he also was the soccer coach at the now NCAA Division II university. I caught up with Tim yesterday via phone and he shared with me his great pride in having his 1994 Women’s Soccer Team inducted into the Coker Hall of Fame. Coker Soccer

Led by head coach Tim Griggs, the 1994 women’s soccer team compiled a 15-1-1 record. The Cobras finished No. 4 in the NAIA final rankings, and were ranked in the NAIA top 20 every week of the regular season. They won the Conference Carolinas regular-season championship for the second consecutive season, recording a 6-0 record in league play. During the season Coker had a 14-match winning streak, outscored opponents 61-12, posted 11 shutouts and won both the St. Andrews Presbyterian College Tournament and the Tennessee Wesleyan College Tournament. “This is a great honor for the 1994 team,” Griggs said. “That squad was an outstanding set of student-athletes, and I’m very happy for them. They were a special group and are very deserving of this place in Coker history.”

Five Cobras from that 1994 team were named all-conference players: Crystal McCamis, Jamie Condon, Liz Gray, Kristi McHale and Stephanie Sorrells. Gray, McCamis, Condon and McHale were NAIA Mid-South All-Region selections. In addition, McCamis was named an All-American and the conference player of the year. My buddy Tim Griggs was the conference’s coach of the year.

In addition to coaching the women’s team, Griggs also coached the men’s soccer team and served as athletic director at Coker from 1994 to 2010. He coached the men from 1980-1994 and the women from 1988-1998. Griggs retired from the college in 2010.

Today he is a successful farmer in Hartsville, SC. He has a beautiful wife and two daughters.

Tim was a great mentor to me as I began my time on various NCAA Division II Committees. We often would fly and drive together to meetings. He made the transition easy for me to feel at home with a lot of great athletic leaders from across the country.

Tim told me that he just passed on what his good friend Dan Mara did for him.

The Friend-TIM GRIGGS-with his wife on his farm and standing with Dan Kenney on tarmac. tim griggs farmerDan and Tim Griggs The Friend of the Friend-DAN MARA Dan Mara

Dan and Tim passing the mentoring torch down the line

Tim Griggs first met Dan Mara at a NCAA Management Council meeting and Dan took him under his wing.

Dan Mara, is an award-winning administrator and a hall-of-fame coach, he is currently in his ninth year as Commissioner of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. Mara arrived at the CACC Office in 2006 after 11 years as the Associate Vice-President for Athletics and Fitness at CACC-member Post University. He is the fifth longest tenured commissioner in Division II.

The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (NY) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician College, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Nyack College, Philadelphia University, Post University, University of the Sciences and Wilmington University.

During Dan’s time at the CACC, the conference has grown  from 12 members to the current 14 members. The addition of Chestnut Hill College (2007) and Concordia College (2009) ranks the CACC as seventh largest of the 24 conferences in Division II.

Mara was the CACC’s first representative to serve on the NCAA Division II Management Council. He represented the conference from 2004-2009. During his time on Management Council he took Tim and showed him the ropes on how committees work. He showed Tim how to network with the others on the committee. He really wanted to make Tim the rookie Management Council Member shine and be well liked.

Tim also influenced Dan who being a northern citizen of the USA was not prone to southern or rural ways of living. Tim made sure on one trip to Golden, CO that Dan not only got to see the Adolph Coors Brewing Company but purchased a cowboy hat. Tim wanted to send Dan Mara back to his home feeling like a cowboy who had a few beers.

When I was elected to the NCAA Division II Management Council Dan Mara had rotated off but the NCAA Management Council made another trip to Golden, CO to see Tim’s idea on community engagement called “A Taste of Coker” get replicated at the Colorado School of the Mines. I didn’t get a tour of Coors or purchase a hat on that trip but Tim Griggs was my mentor as the picture below can testify to. He not only welcomed me to Golden, CO but to the NCAA. Griggs Goldenblaster

Thanks Tim Griggs


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