Athletic director named for NJCAA sports program returning to PCCUA next fall
Posted Date: 10/24/23

Athletic director named for NJCAA sports program returning to PCCUA next fall

Next year will be historic for Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas, as the College initiates a historic comeback for its collegiate men’s and women’s basketball teams.  A major component in that process is the hiring of an athletic director to get the ball rolling.

PCCUA has officially announced that Kevin Martin Arnold, of Helena, has been selected for this role and moving its major sports plans forward.

“This is an exciting step in getting our Ridge Runner collegiate basketball teams back,” said PCCUA Chancellor Dr. Keith Pinchback, “and we feel with his experience, character and leadership, Kevin brings a lot to the table for us.”

In his three years at KIPP Delta Public Schools prior to joining PCCUA this year as high school relations director for the Helena Campus, Arnold served as a social studies teacher, basketball coach, athletic director, and director of operations.  

Arnold is known as a community organizer, leader and social justice advocate for the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. He holds an M.A. in human relations from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in sociology from Hendrix College. He has participated in the Aspen Young Leaders Fellowship Program as a FASPEN Young Leaders Fellow and as an Index Fellow (facilitator), where he has gained valuable leadership tools and contributed to the development and implementation of a community impact plan. Among his honors and awards have been receiving the Juanita D. Sanford Social Justice Award and the Alice Hines Award for Excellence, and recognition for Multicultural Leadership and Service.

Among Arnold’s first duties as athletic director will be to hire a basketball coach, who will be responsible for the recruitment of players. In the fall of 2024, Phillips will reinstitute its basketball teams, following an extensive, year-long renovation of the college’s gymnasium, which was built in the late 1960s. Work is already underway for the renovation project. 

Phillips College had award-winning National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) competitive teams, which began in the late 1960s and ran through 1990. Like those teams, players will be recruited, and the new Ridge Runner teams will compete with other teams in the NJCAA.

Pinchback noted, “It’s been 32 years since we have had collegiate basketball teams, and we are very excited about this next big step in bringing them back. We look forward to instilling Ridge Runner pride once again among our students, employees and fans through our basketball programs.”

Commenting on his selection, Arnold said, “I’m happy to take on this important role. This is a place where I feel there is a lot of opportunity to grow these programs, and I look forward to helping build new traditions in excellence here once again!” 

The College is making plans to grow its competitive sports programs and is looking to add other sports on its campuses in the near future, such as baseball, softball, or soccer. 

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