Rule Talks About New Role As William Penn Athletic Director

William Penn University Athletic Director Nik Rule.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Working to build upon the success left by its outgoing athletic director, William Penn University knew that the next person to fill that role would be very important.

After months of work, the university announced that Nik Rule will be taking over the vacant position after the retirement of Greg Hafner, who had served since 2007.

Rule is the current women’s golf head coach for William Penn, where he helped lead the team to national tournament appearances. Rule also worked in the Advancement/Alumni office before his appointment.

Rule said that the transition will take some time, as he helps to ensure that his replacement with the advancement office gets up to speed with his work there. Rule then said that meeting with the current coaching staff will be an important first step.

“About three or four years ago, I decided I love college athletics,” said Rule, “You can make a difference in so many different people’s lives. It’s amazing to see a student come in freshman year, and how they have transformed by the time they are done with their senior year.”

“William Penn is a special place in doing that, and really transforms people,” added Rule.

So, with the knowledge that he wanted to be an athletic director, Rule earned his masters in sports administration and business leadership. “I was trying to prepare myself for that opportunity.”

“Greg Hafner became my mentor,” said Rule, “He helped prepare me to prepare myself for an opportunity, and this one came up.”

“I’m very grateful to [William Penn University’s] President Ottosson and our board and our cabinet for giving me the opportunity. Being the athletic director of my alma mater is an opportunity of a lifetime.”

Rule graduated from William Penn in May of 2010 and was hired by William Penn to coach golf in June of 2010.

Rule worked for Musco full time, until transitioning to William Penn full time in 2012.

“I love our community. I love Oskaloosa, and I love William Penn and I’m just really fortunate,” said Rule.

“This is not a stepping stone, this is a career,” added Rule about his desire to make William Penn his lifelong commitment, “I truly believe in what’s going on at William Penn right now.”

“We have a great administration that has really taken us in the right director over the last four or five years,” said Rule, “William Penn has so much momentum, and the athletic department has so much momentum, and that’s due to Greg Hafner and people like him.”

“It’s just a really good time to be here and I believe in this institution’s purpose. I believe in the difference we can make in people’s lives.”

“I understand there are massive shoes to fill. He’s given us so much momentum. He’s hired such an amazing coaching staff. Because of all the work he’s done, it’s a really attractive position for someone like me who worked under him.”

Successful athletics programs can shine a big light on a university. “Success is an interesting concept in college athletics. Yes, success on the field of play is very important, but what, in many cases, are the life-changing successes, are the success we have in developing our student-athletes into people.”

“Yes, we want to have success on the field of play, and we have, and I expect us to continue to, because we have great coaches,” added Rule, “We prepare all of our student-athletes at the university for life. That is what success is down the line.”

William Penn football standout Antonio Brown talked about the importance of being prepared for life after football. Brown highlighted the work the coaching staff had done for him.

Brown had been out of college and football for three years, while he took care of his mother who was battling cancer. Ultimately, Brown’s mother passed away from the disease, “And I didn’t have any other school to go to,” said Brown, “Coach Haf was willing to give me an opportunity to play football again… He had never seen me, never heard of me, he just accepted me.”

“I was really in school to graduate,” Brown continued, “Football was just there. I was a student first, before I was an athlete. I was trying to take advantage of that.”

“Without being able to provide the education that we provide, we don’t have athletic programs,” added Rule, “Our coaches understand that the first priority is our students succeeding in the classroom.”

Change can make people feel uneasy about the future, and Rule said that William Penn University, “is very principled and it’s been the same emphasis on education, and the emphasis on diversity, that is who we are.”

Rule said that there is a priority on togetherness and community, “It’s who we are. It’s been who we are since 1873. So, when you have that core dynamic in an institution, those are core principles that we all operate on.”

Rule said that there are no “earth shattering changes” and that the focus remains on building on the momentum that is already in place.



Posted by on Jun 17 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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