Cashell named Cascade Conference commissioner

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LA GRANDE, Ore. – Council of Presidents Chair Dr. Bob Davies announced today that Eastern Oregon University Athletic Director, Rob Cashell, has been named the commissioner of the Cascade Collegiate Conference.

“Rob was unanimously supported by the presidents of each of the member institutions,” Davies said. “He is recognized throughout the country for his leadership, vision and commitment. The search process yielded 54 applicants from around the country. We had candidates who are sitting commissioners at NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) conferences, others who are associate commissioners of conferences at the NCAA Div. 1 level, sitting athletic directors from all levels of the NCAA and NAIA, as well as individuals from various national athletic associations and professional teams. It was a very deep pool that was rich with talent.

“And Rob, in the end, was the clear choice. He epitomizes the true spirit of the student-athlete that is at the hallmark of the Cascade Conference and the NAIA. He is a true ‘Champion of Character’ and is a working symbol of what the NAIA and its member colleges and universities stand for.”

Cashell, who is in his eleventh year as the Director of Athletics at EOU, will begin full-time as the conference commissioner on July 1. He has served as interim commissioner since Jan. 1.

“I am honored to have been chosen as the Commissioner of the Cascade Collegiate Conference,” Cashell said. “I believe we have the finest conference in the NAIA and I am eager to support the nearly 2,000 student-athletes and athletic staffs who represent our 10 campuses.”

At Eastern, Cashell served on the President’s Executive Cabinet and oversaw the Division of Athletics which is home to 12 intercollegiate programs.

Since 2006, Cashell has overseen an athletic department that has placed first, second, and third in the then formed Cascade Collegiate Conference All Sports Award balloting. The Mountaineers have never finished lower than fourth in the 10-member conference.

In 2007-08, Cashell was named the Cascade Conference and NAIA Region 1 Athletic Director of the Year. Cashell was nominated for the prestigious award again the following year. In 2009-10, Cashell once again was named the Cascade Conference Athletic Director of the Year. In addition, he was honored by NACDA as the Under Armour West Coast Athletic Director of the Year.

Prior to joining the Mountaineers, Cashell was the Athletic Director at the University of Montana Western from 1996 to 2001. Cashell was the first full-time athletic director in the school’s history.

A native of Montana, Cashell earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Montana Western in 1990 with a Health and Physical Education major, and a minor in History. He received a Masters Degree in Counseling and Career Services from Montana State University-Northern in 1994.

During his tenure at EOU, the Athletic Department saw significant change. Since 2001, Cashell oversaw over $3 million of renovation projects which include; an expanded fitness center and private team locker rooms, a new competition soccer field and football practice field, newly constructed press boxes, a booster suite, restrooms and concessions at Community Stadium, a resurfaced track, a reconstructed softball field, and Quinn Coliseum upgrades to the main gymnasium. In addition, private support for athletics has increased over 300 percent.

In 2003, Cashell guided the department in its effort to seek sole membership in the NAIA and membership in the highly respected Frontier Conference for the Mountaineer football program. Athletic scholarships were also started in 2003 and current Mountaineer student-athletes benefit from over $700,000 in available aid.

Rob and his wife Heather are the parents of two daughters, Hanna and Elizabeth.