1998 NAU Athletics Hall of Fame Class
Dr. Sam McClanahan
(Faculty Athletic Representative, 1980-98)
A highly respected man in the NAU athletic department and the Big Sky Conference, Dr. McClanahan served as the faculty athletics representative for NAU athletics. Known for his fairness yet his by-the-book adherence to NCAA rules, Dr. McClanahan quickly earned respect from everyone with whom he came into contact. The respect for integrity that Dr. McClanahan earned was evident all the way to the NCAA, where he served as chair of peer review teams that were put together for NCAA certification, a position that was normally reserved for university presidents. As Big Sky Conference Commissioner Douglas B. Fullerton stated, "Spend five minutes...in a meeting with athletic directors, faculty representatives and senior woman administrators over the past years and you would quickly recognize the authority and respects Sam had earned with his colleagues. Everyone waited for his counsel, and although the counsel he gave was sometimes a little painful, the respect was furthered. Sam was known throughout the league as a fair man but one who would not bend from principle." During his 19-year tenure, NAU had no major NCAA rules violations regarding recruiting or student-athletes eligibility issues.