Columbus -- Columbus State University Athletic Director Jay Sparks has announced the hiring of Emmanuel "Manny" Nieves as the schools sports information director. At the same time, Sparks also announced title changes for two other Cougar staff members.
Nieves, who officially assumed his duties on July 1, comes to CSU from Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. He will work under former SID and current Assistant Athletic Director for Communication and Compliance Mike Peacock. Nieves brings eight years of sports information experience to the CSU department and is the school's third full-time SID.
"We are really pleased to welcome Manny to our CSU family," said Peacock. "We had a pretty extensive search for this position and Manny brings exactly what we were looking for. He is young, he has experience working in different sports information environments, and he has a passion for what he does."
"We are excited to have someone in this vital role in our department who will be focused on promoting our department and our athletes. Manny is a great fit and we are fortunate to have him join us," Peacock added.
Nieves was a student-athlete at Centenary (NJ) College where he majored in sports management and got his initial taste of sports information work. After earning his undergraduate degree at Centenary, he moved on to East Stroudsburg University where he earned a masters degree. He was an intern at High Point University before joining Rowan in an assistant SID capacity. His hiring at CSU will give him experience in each of the NCAA's three divisions of competition.
Nieves steps into a CSU position formerly held by current women's golf head coach Brian Padgett. Padgett vacated the position to start the women's program from scratch last year. Peacock and part-time assistant Anne Appleton teamed up to get through the 2009-10 year, with help from another part-time SID in Lorin Baeta. Baeta left CSU to move back to her native California in January.
Nieves will be responsible for promoting the school's 14-sport athletic program, as well as heading up media relations efforts for the department on the local, regional and national levels. He is also responsible for gameday management, statistics and record-keeping for all 14 sports.
Sparks also announced that two members of the current staff have been given new titles. Julio Llanos, the schools head athletic trainer, will now carry the title of Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine and Diversity and Inclusion. Jimbo Davis, the long-time cheer coach for the Cougars, will now have the title of Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing and Community Relations and also carries the title of Spirit Coordinator. Davis, coach of three national championship cheer squads, will now also oversee the CSU dance team under the umbrella of spirit.
Heather McGowan has also joined the CSU family as Director of Marketing for the CSU Athletic Foundation and will work with the CSU Athletic Fund, Inc., to bolster marketing and fund-raising efforts.
"We are pleased with our new employees and our new promotions," said Sparks. "We have two great additions to our family in Manny Nieves and Heather McGowan and both have a vibrancy that extends to all those around them. With the promotions, we try and put people in places that they can create immediate success. As is the case, Julio and Jimbo will be outstanding in each of their roles. I feel as if our department is truly moving forward and making progress."
The 2010-11 athletic year will officially get underway on Friday, September 3, as the women's soccer team hosts the annual Cougar Invitational, playing Newberry at 7 p.m.