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New Athletics Director Named at SAU

Athletic Director Jason Crist with athletes

On Friday, Spring Arbor University announced the resignation of SAU Athletic Director William “Bill” Weidner. Weidner joined SAU in August 2022, coming to the university with more than 30 years of experience as an administrator and coach. Weidner had previously served with NCAA and NAIA intercollegiate athletic programs throughout the nation before coming to Spring Arbor.

“I am most appreciative of having had the opportunity to serve as the Athletics Director at Spring Arbor University and am extremely proud of the many accomplishments of our student-athletes in both the academic and athletic arenas,” shared Weidner. “It is in that spirit that I extend my best wishes to the SAU athletic department and Spring Arbor University for continued blessings and success.”

Corey Ross, Vice President for Student Development and Success, says “Bill has brought with him a wealth of experience and passion for athletics done well in the college context. With his careful attention to compliance and his commitment to community engagement, servant leadership, and sportsmanship, SAU is poised to receive Gold-level status in the ‘NAIA Champions of Character’ program. Bill has advocated well for the coaches and student-athletes, and he has oriented the department toward athletic and professional excellence.”

Taking the reins as Athletic Director will be SAU’s longtime Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Jason Crist. Crist is a 1999 Spring Arbor University alumnus and has been serving the university on staff since 2004. Under Crist’s leadership, SAU Women’s Soccer has achieved three NAIA national titles (2015, 2017, 2022), one runner-up finish, and seven semi finals appearances. 

Crist is a two-time NAIA National Coach of the Year, nine-time Crossroads League Coach of the Year, and the winningest coach in NAIA Women’s Soccer history. In addition to the success of the SAU Women’s Soccer Team in the NAIA, the Cougars were the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) national champions in 2010 and Crist was recognized as the NCCAA National Coach of the Year that season. Crist has coached 49 NAIA All-Americans, including three National Players of the Year.

During his time at SAU, Crist has served as Director of Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Assistant Athletic Director, and Director of Sports Marketing and Communications, in addition to other athletics positions. Crist also currently serves as the Women’s Soccer Coaches Association NAIA President, and has also served as the vice president and secretary. He has been a member of the national oversight committee for NAIA women’s soccer and currently serves as the Crossroads League rater.

Crist will continue his role as Head Women’s Soccer Coach for his 24th season in addition to his duties as Athletic Director before turning over his coaching role in the 2024-25 season. Crist and his wife, Melissa, a 1996 SAU alumna, have two children and live in Spring Arbor, Michigan. More information about Crist can be found at