Brenau President Ed Schrader throws out the ceremonial first pitch before the opening double header at Pacolet Milliken Field at the Ernest Ledford Grindle Athletics Park between the Brenau Golden Tigers and Talladega College. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Brenau President Ed Schrader, who has championed dramatic growth of women’s intercollegiate sports, earlier this year throws out the ceremonial first pitch to open the new Golden Tigers sports venue, the Ernest Ledford Grindle Athletics Park, between Brenau and Talladega College. Now he’s spearheading the Golden Tigers’ move to a new conference. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

President Schrader Attending Annual AAC Council of Presidents Meeting Friday

Jun 2, 2017
Kristen Bowman

With all intercollegiate sports seasons wrapped up for the academic year, the Brenau University Golden Tigers officially begin work Friday, June 2, as the newest full-time member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference when university President Ed Schrader participates in the annual AAC Council of Presidents Meeting.

The meeting is an opportunity for presidents of conference colleges and universities to discuss the year in review, potential new members, new intercollegiate sports to embrace and strategic goals and objectives.

“This is where they approve and decide on all the policies and such that were first discussed at the athletic directors meetings a few weeks before,” said Jay Stancil, sports information director for the conference. “They also approve the budget and the other items that may need to be decided on, such as approval of new meetings, addition of other sports into the conference and what direction they would like the conference to go.”

New sports could include anything from football and bowling to cheer and dance. Brenau, which participates only in women’s sports, currently has competitive cheer and dance teams that compete in the Southern States Athletic Conference and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Beginning in August, the AAC will have at least 17 members: 14 full members including Brenau, along with three associate members. Already a member of the NAIA, Brenau was previously competing in the SSAC. The Golden Tigers track and field team in the final season this year won its fifth straight conference title. The Brenau softball team not only won the regular season and post-season tournament SSAC championships, but in 2017 also became the first team in conference history to win all 26 regular season conference games.

“We are proud to welcome Brenau University to the AAC,” said AAC Commissioner John Sullivan. “It has a solid athletic program, including swimming, which we began sponsoring this year. It has added lacrosse, which we currently sponsor. Brenau’s strong academic reputation fits well with our emphasis on academics first and character-driven athletics.”

Brenau currently sponsors 16 intercollegiate women’s teams including two junior varsity teams, cheer and dance programs, and a new competitive shooting team beginning in 2018. In the AAC, Brenau will compete in cross country, soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, softball, tennis, golf, lacrosse and track and field.

“Throughout the application process and during our meetings with the site visit team, I have enjoyed getting to know the representatives from the Appalachian Athletic Conference,” said Brenau Athletic Director Mike Lochstampfor. “They are a wonderful group of folks with a great leader in Commissioner John Sullivan. Everyone has been very professional and supportive, and we are looking forward to a long-term relationship and a new home for our athletics program.”

For more on Golden Tiger athletics, visit Brenau’s athletic website at