COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College men's ice hockey sophomore Colin Biebel (Roxborough Park, Colo./Walpole Express) was selected to serve on the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as the Northeast-10 Conference's lone representative, it was announced on Monday. Biebel's term begins immediately and runs through the end of the January 2020 NCAA Convention.
"This is an incredible opportunity, and I'm excited to represent my team, Saint Michael's College, and the NE10," said Biebel. "I would not have been able to obtain this position without the efforts of my teammates, coaches, athletic directors, teachers and, most importantly, my family. I can't express how grateful I am for all of their support. I'm extremely honored and blessed to be the NE10 representative on the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee."
Biebel is one of 27 student-athletes from around the country serving on the Division II SAAC, and is the first Saint Michael's representative ever chosen. A member of the College's SAAC and Hope Happens Here, a student-run campus organization focused on mental health awareness in students, in particular student-athletes, Biebel is a Dean's List student majoring in business administration. A 5-foot-8 forward, he posted career highs of six goals and 10 points this winter, including potting two tallies in the NE10 Championship title game.
"Colin is a truly deserving representative of this honor," said head coach Damian DiGiulian. "He has grown a lot in the short time he has been here, and it has been really fun to watch that growth both as a player and, more importantly, as a person. I could not be happier for Colin as he moves forward to represent the NE10 on a national stage. He will do a terrific job."
The SAAC serves as the primary governance arm representing student-athlete interests in Division II affairs. SAAC members serve as student-athlete liaisons that monitor and discuss happenings on campuses, within conference and at the national level. Representatives are responsible for gathering feedback and reporting on behalf of their conference, as well as relaying important events, hot topics and educational information to both the campus and conference levels. In addition to relaying information across campuses and conferences, the committee speaks on behalf of the entire Division II student-athlete body throughout the NCAA governance structure. Members serve as voting members on a number of Division II committees, including the Management Council. The SAAC also has voting authority during the Division II Business Session at the annual NCAA Convention. For more information, visit here.
"This is a tremendous appointment for Colin, and we are very proud of him," said Director of Athletics Chris Kenny '86. "I have no doubt that he will be an outstanding representative for the Northeast-10, and will readily embrace the responsibilities and opportunities that come with this new endeavor."
Division II's SAAC is currently comprised of 27 members, including representatives from each of the 24 Division II multi-sport voting conferences, one representative of Division II independent institutions, and two at-large representatives. Additionally, two members of the Management Council and one member of the Presidents Council serve as ex-officio and nonvoting members. The Division II SAAC Nominating Subcommittee selects national committee members from a diverse pool of candidates that conference offices submit. The Division II Management Council ratifies the appointments, and each student-athlete serves a non-renewable three-year term.
"As the Saint Michael's Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), I have had the chance to observe and interact with many of the national SAAC student-athletes," said psychology professor Dave Landers, who has represented the College and the NE10 at various NCAA Conventions and functions. "Colin will bring his integrity, his energy and his strong student-athlete attitude to the national level. I'm very proud of this young man."
The Division II SAAC was established in August 1997 upon the NCAA-wide SAAC, which began in 1989, being split to three entities for each of the NCAA's three divisions. The Division II SAAC is comprised of female and male student-athletes of various diversities charged with its initial goal, to offer student-athlete input on NCAA activities and proposed legislation affecting student-athlete well-being. To fulfill this charge, Division II SAAC members serve not only on the committee, but are also engaged in many NCAA opportunities where they may speak on NCAA issues. These opportunities include, but are not limited to, serving on Association-wide committees, serving on division-specific committees, speaking and voting on the NCAA Convention floor, and playing significant roles in the NCAA leadership conferences.