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WPU Athletics Department Makes Leadership Staff Changes


William Penn University Athletics Director Nik Rule is excited to announce a number of staff advancements and title changes ahead of the 2018-2019 athletic season.

Rule, who just completed his first full year as Athletic Director, has appointed four individuals to step into roles as Assistant Athletic Directors.  These members include Jon Haugen, Wade Steinlage, Mike Christner, and Blake Sandquist.  Rule, Haugen, Steinlage, Christner, and Sandquist will head the Athletic Department Council, which will serve as the department’s leadership team.

“We accomplished a great deal in our first year, and have continued the momentum from the last decade, as we strive to continue to be a leader in small college athletics,” Rule said.  “After assessing where we are now and where we want to be, assembling a team that will help us continue to make positive steps in the right direction felt like a great opportunity. The group assembled bring different strengths, perspectives, and skills to the table and have shown a deep understanding and commitment to the big picture of William Penn University.”

Head Athletic Performance Coach Jon Haugen will now serve as Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Performance and the Student Experience.  In recent months, Haugen took on additional responsibilities in Student Life and will continue that role in addition to his focus on Athletic Performance.

Steinlage will change his title from Director of Athletic Communications to Assistant Athletic Director for Communications.  In the ever-changing world of technology in sport, he will be tasked with positioning William Penn to continue to be cutting-edge in its delivery of content.

Also WPU’s Head Softball Coach, Mike Christner was already an Assistant Athletic Director.  He will remain in that role with his main focus on external facilities; therefore, his title will change to Assistant Athletic Director for External Facilities.

Blake Sandquist, who is also Associate Head Men’s Basketball Coach, became WPU’s Compliance Director last fall and will continue in that position, but now under the title of Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance.  Recently, Compliance Directors were recognized by the NAIA as an official group, and this important distinction will help Sandquist position William Penn as a strong voice going forward.

In addition to this quintet, Director of Sports Medicine, Abu Ibrahim, and Head Women’s Volleyball Coach, Aleesha Cleaver, will also serve on the Athletic Department Council.

“There is nothing more powerful than a team working together for a common cause and we have a great team of coaches and staff at WPU. Athletic Departments are larger in size and it’s important to bring voices to the table to make sure we are leading and building culture from ahead and not from behind. This leadership team will be a vital asset to our department and to William Penn University as we work tirelessly to deliver the best student-experience for our student-athletes.”

The department also has also appointed Dr. Glenn Steimling as Faculty Athletic Representative, while Brad Van Mersbergen has been hired as Transportation Director.


For more information, contact:

Wade Steinlage
Assistant Athletic Director for Communication
641-673-1025 |

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