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Unity Christian Names New Athletics Director

MEDIA RELEASE: Unity Christian School is excited to introduce Mr. Mark Ackerman as Athletic Director and Head Football Coach. We appreciate your faithful prayer support in our search for the next leader of our athletic programs. We believe that God has directed us to the right candidate to lead Unity athletics into a bright future of success in growing champions in competition, character and the classroom.

Coach Ackerman has a B.S. in Physical Education from Gardner-Webb University where he played football as a wide receiver and a return specialist. He also earned a Master's Degree from St. Thomas University in Sports Administration.

Coach Ackerman comes to UCS from Southwest Florida Christian Academy in Fort Meyers, Florida, where he served as the Athletic Director and Head Football Coach for the past four years. While there, he led the establishment of a new football program, the construction of a new football field, and added wrestling, track, tennis and swimming programs. His administration included supervision of more than 70 coaches.

Coach Ackerman's programs have experienced success far beyond the football field. He has empowered several athletes to compete at the college level, and has helped many to earn scholarships in football, cheerleading, volleyball, softball, baseball, track and field, golf, and soccer.

As the Head of School, I am excited that Coach Ackerman has joined the Unity Christian School team. I had the privilege of working with Mark for three years at Southwest Florida Christian Academy where he was an integral part of the leadership team. Coach Ackerman is a driven, hardworking athletic director and coach that promotes the entire athletic program. I believe he will be a great asset to Unity Christian School.

Beyond coaching and athletic administration, Coach Ackerman has also served as the chaplain for the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, served as a youth pastor, and a counselor for Kanakuk Kamps and K-Life Youth Ministries.

According to Coach Ackerman, "I am excited about the opportunity Unity has offered me and my family. I am eager to get to Rome this summer, and I look forward to meeting the entire staff. There is always a great deal of work that has to be done when you have the transition of an Athletic Director and Head Football Coach, but I am ready to roll my sleeves up and get started."

Addressing his calling to leadership in athletics, he added, "The challenge of working with young men and women in athletic ministry has always been something I have felt called to do. The majority of the student athletes we get to work with will never become future NFL, WNBA or MLB professional athletes, so, it is important to keep in mind every one of them will become a future mother or father, husband or wife, or a future businessman or businesswoman in the community. It is crucial we understand the role interscholastic athletics can play in helping them build a good foundation for each of these roles."

Coach Ackerman has been married to his wife Jenny for 16 years, and they have three children, Julia, Rebecca, and David.

Coach Ackerman will join the UCS team July 10, 2014. Please plan to attend a "Meet the Coach" gathering on Monday, July 14th at 6:30pm in the Upper Campus Chapel.

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