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NSAA names Anderson as 1st commissioner

JAMESTOWN -- For its first commissioner, the brand new North Star Athletic Association has turned to a familiar face.

Cory Anderson, who played and coached at Valley City State for more than two decades, then moved to Jamestown and served as high school baseball coach, has been hired as the NSAA's inaugural commissioner.

The league, which includes Jamestown College, Valley City State and Mayville State in North Dakota, and Dakota State and Presentation College in South Dakota, begins this fall. Dickinson State joins the league July 1, 2014.

"I think Cory is a excellent choice," DSU athletic director Tim Daniel said. "He brings a wealth of experience and a wealth of knowledge about college athletics in this area. He is very enthusiastic and very organized. All those things make for a great formula for a somebody to be the commissioner."

Most recently Anderson had been the executive director of the James River Family YMCA in Jamestown, but when rumors of a new conference began circulating he took notice.

"We all kind of have jobs where you think it might be a good fit. When word stated getting out that this might happen, it certainly was something that was appealing," Anderson said. "It was something I spent a lot of time thinking about, and prepared for at least the opportunity to apply (for the job).

"I'm very passionate about the NAIA and the schools in this area. Having been a player, coach, fan and now a parent, I know what these schools have to offer and I'm really excited about the direction and the future we have."

Anderson graduated from Valley City State in 1989 and went on to work in several capacities at the school until 2009, including head baseball coach from 1992-2007. He also worked as an assistant football coach, enrollment services, sports information and athletic administration. After moving to Jamestown he was the head baseball coach for the Blue Jays for four years, ending after the 2012 season.

Jamestown College athletic director Lawrie Paulson, who was integral in putting the new conference together behind the scenes, said Anderson is an ideal choice.

"He's got a big job to do, but I'm very confident he'll help move us forward," Paulson said. "Cory knows the territory. He has a great skill set to be a commissioner. He understands college athletics. He understands athletic directors. He is well versed in what we've been through, and where we want to go and for those reasons many of us think he was a great choice."

The top priority for the league is to expand. After the NDCAC morphed into the Dakota Athletic Conference-10 in 2000, the league slowly crumbled over the next decade only to fold altogether in 2012.

"Right now there's a great sense of unity among our schools and a desire to do what's best for everybody, not just one or two schools," Anderson said. "We want to project that out and make ourselves marketable. We have a lot to offer and I plan on making that pitch to anybody willing to listen."

Anderson's ties to Valley City State remain deep. His son Brady is currently on the baseball team, but for anybody thinking he'll slant towards the Sheyenne River, they're off base, he said.

"I'm 1/6th all our schools. Honestly, that's how I view it," he said. "We'll do what's best for all of our members in everything we do."

That includes setting up a conference office, too. In the early stages, he'll run things out of his home in Jamestown, but would eventually like to set shop somewhere permanently, although preferably off campus. Previously, the DAC was run out of an office at Dickinson State.

"That's something we'll address in the future, but I do think it'd be healthier to be as independent as we can, just for the perception of it, if nothing else," Anderson said. "Where that is ultimately, I don't know, but it's something we'll talk about and make a decision that's in the best interests of the conference."