MIAC welcomes new assistant director intern Natalie Arians

MIAC welcomes new assistant director intern Natalie Arians

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) received great news this spring when it was awarded the NCAA's Ethnic Minority and Women's Internship Grant, which allows the league to hire a two-year, full-time Assistant Director Intern to help with administration. After an extensive search full of outstanding candidates, the MIAC announced Monday that it has hired Natalie Arians to fill the position and join the conference office staff.

Arians was selected from an extremely deep and qualified pool that featured more than 350 applicants. Throughout the hiring process, Arians impressed the search committee with her education and background in athletics, as well as her demeanor, maturity and dedication to pursuing a career in college athletics. MIAC Executive Director Dan McKane said Arians will be an incredible asset to the conference during her two-year tenure.

"We couldn't be happier with the number and quality of applicants we received for the position, and the process ultimately led to what we feel will be a great hire," McKane said. "[Arians] possesses all the qualities we were looking for to fill this position and we're excited to add someone of her experience, talent, passion and personality to the MIAC staff. Over the next two years, we think she'll do an outstanding job for our conference and our 13 member schools."

Arians' new position begins on Aug. 1, and will cover a wide range of duties within athletics administration. She'll assist with sports information, compliance and governance, scheduling, finance, championships and officials. She'll also serve as the advisor to the MIAC's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She'll be responsible for all conference awards and will be an integral part of implementing the league's new strategic plan and branding initiatives.

"I am absolutely thrilled to join the MIAC staff," Arians said. "This is an opportunity to gain valuable experience in athletic administration in one of the premier Division III conferences in the country. I am excited about the opportunity to immerse myself in numerous aspects of collegiate athletics at the conference level."

Arians comes to the MIAC with plenty of experience within both the conference and NCAA Division III athletics. She was a volleyball student-athlete while obtaining her Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, with a minor in Criminal Justice. She followed that up with a Master of Arts in Athletics and Activities Administration from the MIAC's University of St. Thomas.

Previously, Arians has served as an athletic intern at Mahtomedi High School, with the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament and for the Minnesota State High School League while working full-time as a legal assistant/paralegal for Kelly & Lemmons, P.A., in St. Paul. Arians also spent four years coaching the Minnehaha Academy volleyball program, spending two seasons as the junior varsity head coach and the past two seasons as the varsity head coach. She was named the 2009 Section 4AA Coach-of-the-Year after leading Minnehaha to the state tournament, and she also has four years of club coaching experience.

"As a former Division III student-athlete, I am very excited to be back in DIII athletics," Arians said. "My personal experience as a student-athlete was an extremely positive one that left me with great respect for DIII athletics and the DIII philosophy.  My graduate coursework, coaching and internship experiences have given me the opportunity to build relationships with student-athletes, coaches, officials and administrators while re-affirming my desire to work in DIII athletics."  

The NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women's Internship Grant is one of Division III's efforts to create professional opportunities in college athletics for minorities and women, and to enhance diversity and inclusion within athletics administration staffs throughout the division. This is the third time the MIAC has received the two-year grant, which equals the most of any conference or institution in the division.

"The NCAA Division III Ethnic Minority and Women's Internship Grant," Arians said, "is particularly unique in that it is a long-term position that strives to provide significant and diverse experiences while placing value on professional development. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity."

Arians replaces the MIAC's two outgoing interns from the 2010-11 school year, Sara Eisenhauer and Jill Millis. Eisenhauer completed a one-year internship with the league, and was also a recipient of the NCAA Ethnic Minority and Women's Internship Grant within the conference at Macalester College. Millis was recently named the head softball coach at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Another former MIAC Ethnic Minority and Women's intern, Augsburg Assistant Athletic Director Kelly Anderson Diercks, will serve as a mentor to Arians through one of the grant's stipulations. Arians currently lives in Woodbury, Minn., with her husband, Adam. She is a Mazeppa, Minn., native and a graduate of Zumbrota-Mazeppa High School.