For the second time in his career, Reinhardt University’s Bill Popp has been named the Appalachian Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year.
“I’m truly honored to receive the Athletic Director of the Year award for the AAC,” Popp said. “I’m very blessed to work with great people at Reinhardt, in the AAC and in the NAIA. The support shown to me by Reinhardt President [Dr. Kina] Mallard, the Reinhardt administration, and all of our great coaches and staff is a major factor in any personal success that I have been fortunate enough to receive. Again, I am truly honored.”
Popp (pictured at right with RU President Dr. Kina Mallard and Board of Trustees Chairman Billy Hasty) previously earned the award for the 2012-13 year.
“We are thrilled that Coach Popp received the much-deserved AD of the Year Award from the Appalachian Athletic Conference,” said RU’s President Dr. Kina Mallard. “He has led our sports programs to new heights, and we are extremely proud of him, his coaches and all of our student-athletes.”
During the 2015-16 season, Reinhardt won or shared the regular-season season championship in six sports and six tournament champions. The regular season teams that earned top accolades are: women’s soccer, men’s golf, men’s lacrosse, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and softball. RU’s tournament champions are women’s soccer, men’s golf, men’s lacrosse, women’s tennis, men’s tennis and softball.
All six of those tournament championship programs either have participated or will be participating in NAIA national championship tournaments.
Popp has been with the University since December 2004 when he was tasked with starting the RU baseball program. He was named the University’s director of athletics prior to the 2005-06 academic year. In 2011, Popp accepted a promotion that had him focusing solely on the role of athletic director
While Popp has led RU athletics, the University has been named a Champions of Character Institution five times.
Under his leadership, Reinhardt has expanded its athletic offerings from 15 to 24, with the most recent – men’s and women’s bowling and men’s wrestling – to begin this fall.
Popp serves as the AAC representative to the Athletic Directors Association and is the Vice President for the AAC. He serves on the executive committee of the National Administrative Counsel and is the chair of the NAC Committee: Experience and Enhancement.
Prior to Reinhardt, Popp was the head coach at NCAA Division III Oglethorpe University for 12 years, where he guided the Stormy Petrels to three Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Eastern Division championships and was chosen as the 2002 SCAC Coach of the Year.
Popp played at Kennesaw State University as a left-handed pitcher from 1989-91. When Kennesaw State won the Georgia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in 1990 and finished with a 37-21 overall record, Popp led the GIAC in saves. He received his Bachelor of Science in sports management from KSU in 1993 after assisting the baseball program.
Popp also has a strong history with community baseball, as he was an integral part of the highly successful East Cobb Baseball Program, serving as the assistant head coach for the East Cobb Ringors select teams from 1990-2003.
Popp resides in Canton with his wife, Jennifer, and son, Noah.