Stillman’s newly hired athletic director is heir to a storied name: Paul Bryant.
His namesake honors a spiritual legend over the coaching great. Naming their son in honor of The Apostle Paul, Bryant’s parents were ministers and reared their son in Dayton, Ohio. He and Shannon Bryant, his wife of 24 years, have a 13-year-old son, Paul Bryant Jr., and a 19-year-old daughter, Kayla, who attends University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Noting that he is a family man, Coach Bryant said that he especially enjoys his iPhone because he can communicate often with his wife and son in Dayton.
He was excited when he got the call asking him to be Stillman’s athletic director. He noted that the enjoys the people at the college and their willingness to work.
Bryant said that he made some easy transitions when he moved from Dayton’s northern climate to Tuscaloosa. The warmer weather and hilly, tree-covered landscape in Tuscaloosa were easy to get accustomed to, he said.
But the hospitable welcome was the nicest of all to Stillman’s new athletic director. Everywhere he went, Bryant said, he was greeted with a warm smile or a welcoming handshake.
Associate Professor of English and NCAA Faculty Representative Dabney Gray is one of those colleagues who is glad Bryant is aboard at the college.
“Coach Bryant is a very positive and energetic individual,” Gray said. “He will be helpful in fundraising. He is also very good at communicating with the coaches and me.
“As the NCAA faculty representative, my biggest concern is with the compliance, and Bryant has shown that he will be OK dealing with this. I’m just excited to be working with him.”
After graduating high school in 1989, Coach Bryant attended Alaska Pacific University and took a bachelor of arts degree in education. He graduated Urbana University in 2005 with a masters degree in education. He expects to complete a doctoral degree in athletic administration at Northcentral University in December 2014.
Bryant has been involved in college sports administration, mentoring youth, youth sports camps, college coaching and college sports recruiting for more than 20 years. Former posts as head basketball coach include positions at Sinclair Community College and Urbana University.
He is recognized widely as a leader, having garnered many awards. While he was at Sinclair, he was named Coach of the Year from the Ohio Community College Association College, the Coach of the Year of the Great Lakes Region, 4 regional appearances, a national appearance and was a national runner-up.
While at Urbana, from 2003-2008, he was named American Mideast Conference Coach of the Year and the American Mideast South Division Coach of the Year. He also coached an American Mideast Conference Player of the Year.
He has been active in a number of professional organizations, including the National Association of College Director of Athletics, National Association of Basketball Coaches, Black Coaches Association, Illinois High School Association and Eureka Rotary.
By Desalyn Easley, staff writer