Sagraves Named Cornerstone University Athletic Director
by Jordan Grooters (B.A. ’17)
Aaron Sagraves (B.A. ’04), former assistant athletic director for communication at Cornerstone University, has stepped into a new role as the university's athletic director.
Sagraves' previous experience has prepared him well for this role. As a 2004 graduate of Cornerstone, he is no stranger to the university and its athletic department. After graduating in 2004, Sagraves spent time working as a sports information director (SID) for CU athletics before spending seven years as the assistant athletic director for communications at Davenport University. He then returned to Cornerstone's Athletic Department where he has gained national recognition for his work in sports information.
In 2017, Sagraves was named the NAIA Clarence "Ike" Pearson Award winner. He also earned the 2015-16 CoSIDA Rising Star Award, Sports Information AVCA Grant Burger Media Award and 2008-09 WHAC SID of the Year.
But beyond all of this, what qualifies Sagraves for this new role at Cornerstone is his passion for sports as a vessel for sharing the love of Christ and his love for the community at CU.
"At Cornerstone, there is a sense of wanting to make this place something bigger and better because of who we serve–the Lord," Sagraves expressed. "So that has been a focus of mine as well. How do we do that through athletics?"
With the new role, Sagraves looks forward to investing in the coaches at CU. Under the leadership of Chip Huber, former athletic director and new associate vice president for Student Development, Sagraves and Huber cast a vision for a student-athlete culture at CU where students are invested in as athletes, students and valued members of the CU community.
"We're trying to build an and culture at CU," Sagraves said. "We're serious about our faith and our walk with Jesus Christ, and we're good at sports. We want to recruit student-athletes who are serious about their faith, academics and sports. Finding those students is not easy, but if we make it a priority to build that culture, we will attract those students."
Sagraves expressed his hope for investing not only in the coaches at CU but also in the students.
"I want students to be able to identify themselves as more than just athletes," Sagraves said. "Each person has a story. You may be really good at basketball or really good at softball, but that shouldn't define who you are as a person. I hope we can allow our student-athletes to grow here and understand that they are more than just an athlete. They are children of God, and they are students on our campus. Sports are glorified, but athletes should understand that sports are only a part of who they are as a person."
Sagraves is grateful to Huber for helping to shape this vision.
"Chip is incredible," Sagraves said. "He sees sports as just a small piece of how to live in this world. Sports are important to him, no doubt about it, but he sees it as an avenue to grow and share the gospel."
Moving forward, Sagraves hopes to build on the foundation that Huber has laid for CU athletics. He also hopes to focus on gathering resources and building relationships with CU athletics alumni. Sagraves also hopes to increase Cornerstone's relationships with local high schools by offering them resources for leadership development.
Inspired by the campus community and the passion that his coworkers have for sharing the stories of athletes at CU, Sagraves looks forward to supporting the mission of CU.
"I am so excited for what is ahead in this next chapter in my life and service at CU," Sagraves concluded.