South Dakota names Theeler, Drahota, Hultgren to athletics staff

South Dakota names Theeler, Drahota, Hultgren to athletics staff
Three individuals have been hired to the administrative team of The University of South Dakota Athletics Department, according to an announcement by USD Athletics Director Joel Nielsen.

Jill Theeler, originally of Mitchell, has been named the assistant athletic director/compliance officer/senior woman administrator, while Shane Drahota of Mankato, MN, was selected as the assistant athletic director of communications, and Amy Hultgren of Austin, TX, as the USD's coordinator of athletics marketing and promotions.

"We believe the addition of these three individuals will strengthen our department as we move ahead," said Nielsen. "We are pleased that all three have joined the staff. They bring vision, experience and variety of skills to this department."

The addition of Theeler as the assistant athletic director/compliance officer/senior woman administrator position was part of the Athletics Department's three-year competitiveness, funding and compliance plan announced in April of 2004. In addition, USD has received an NCAA woman/minority grant to help fund the position over the next three years.

At USD, Theeler will provide oversight for compliance/eligibility, serve as the athletic representative to the NCAA, NCC and University events, and provide supervision of assigned staff. She will also oversee all aspects of the development and implementation of departmental gender and minority equity plans. Theeler will begin her duties at USD on Aug. 14.

Theeler has served as compliance coordinator at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) since July of 2005. Theeler has received a B.S. degree in business administration (May, 2002) from North Dakota State University and earned two graduate degrees at Ohio University in Athens, including a master of business administration degree (December 2003) and a master of sports administration degree (June 2004).

Prior to joining the USC staff, Theeler was a membership services intern with the NCAA in Indianapolis, IN, and (2004-05). She served as a business consultant for the Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs in Athens, OH (2002-04). She also was an intern (2002, 2004) in the North Central Conference Office in Sioux Falls, and an athletic department intern (2003) at the University of Washington.

As a student-athlete at NDSU, Theeler was a team captain and four-year letter winner from 1997-2002. She also served as the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) president at NDSU. Theeler was the NCAA Woman of the Year for North Dakota in 2002 and recipient of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Theeler was both the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Verizon Track/Cross Country Academic All-American of the Year in 2002. She also received the Woody Hayes National Scholarship Athlete Award. A 19-time NCAA Division II All-American, Theeler helped lead the NDSU team to an indoor national Division II title in 2002. During that championship season, she was a member of the 4×400-meter relay that won an indoor title.

Before joining USD, Drahota served as an assistant director of athletic communications at Minnesota State University, Mankato. At USD, Drahota will oversee the department's media relations, marketing, promotion, ticket sales, community relations and ensure the fulfillment of the USD's corporate partnerships program. The focus of the position will be on image development, publicity generation, and promotion of sport teams, coaches, and student-athletes to local, regional and national media. He began his duties at USD on July 24.

Drahota, a native of Jackson, MN, is in the process of completing a M.A. degree in physical education – sports administration, which he is projected to complete in 2007. He graduated cum laude with a B.S. degree in management and human resource management from MSU in 1999.

At MSU, he handled various communication duties, including serving as the sports information contact for a number of sports during his six years on staff. He handled football, men's basketball, softball, women's soccer, men's swimming and diving, women's swimming and diving, men's tennis, women's tennis and wrestling. Drahota also handled SID responsibilities for MSU's Division I women's hockey program. He was a member of the 2003-04 NCC Sports Information Office of the Year. Drahota has been a district coordinator for the CoSIDA Academic All American program and the Daktronics All-American Football Program. In addition, Drahota has been significantly involved in game day management events and has also worked at a number of national events.

Hultgren, originally of Spencer, IA, began her duties earlier this summer. At USD, she will manage ticket sales operations and work to create revenue with increased tickets sales through marketing promotions and public relations. She will assist with the corporate partners program and have the primary duties of overseeing game day management (events and promotions).

Prior to coming to USD, Hultgren was a campaign coordinator for Team in Training, a fund-raising program for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society in Austin, TX, since August 2005. She led marketing and recruitment efforts for the Society. Prior to that, she was an assistant volleyball coach with AIM Volleyball Club, an intern at the University of Wisconsin Athletic Ticket Office, and an academic tutor at the University of Texas.

Hultgren, who was a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council as a student, lettered twice in volleyball at both Texas and Wisconsin. At Texas, she was selected to the second-team All Big-12 volleyball squad. Hultgren owns a B.S. degree in sports management (2004) from the University of Texas. She made the dean's list at Texas and she was also a former state of Iowa Scholar.

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