Swiger honored by SAAC, named MAC representative

The National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has appointed BGSU’s Stephanie Swiger as its Mid-American Conference representative.

“I was ecstatic. I was so excited. This is something I really wanted to do,” Swiger said, “I think it’s an honor. I think to be able to continue to improve Bowling Green and the MAC for athletes like me in the future is a great opportunity.”

“I would think that the selection [came from] her personality and what she’s involved with outside of volleyball on campus. She’s a strong leader in BG’s SAAC. She really is a go-getter and she will do very well at this position,” coach Denise Van De Walle said.

“Coach [Van De Walle] told [the team] on a road trip, and we were all so shocked and so happy for her,” said teammate Chrissy Gothke.

Swiger was an active member of SAAC at BG and in the MAC before her selection to the national level.

“Last year BG’s SAAC came up with a lot of great ideas – new fund-raising techniques, new things to really try to boost student and athlete involvement in the community and University. ” Swiger said, “If we have successful programs, I’m going to take that to the MAC and address it there too. “

Swiger eventually expects to have the same impact she had on BG’s SAAC on the national level.

“I think at my first meeting, I’ll be more of an observer,” Swiger said. “After I talk to all the presidents from the Mid-American Conference SAAC’s and I have their ideas and things they’d like me to address then I’ll feel comfortable to go forward to the NCAA.”

The National SAAC is a committee made up of student-athletes from NCAA conferences across the nation. The goal of the organization is to bring insight to the student-athlete experience and to review rules and regulations that directly affect student-athletes’ lives on campus.

The selection of Swiger to the committee gives BG its first national member since 1996 when football star Cal Bowers relinquished his position after a four-year term. It also gives her the voice of over 5,000 MAC student-athletes.

“When I first heard [it was 5,000 athletes], it was a little scary, but this is a position of great responsibility. My first priority is making sure I am representing all 5,000 people. I really try to take ideas from every school in the MAC – not just BG, not just my team, not just my ideas,” Swiger said.

But even with the extra responsibilities, those closest to Swiger think she will do very well representing BG and the MAC nationally.

“I think she’ll bring in a lot of ideas and exciting, different experiences into [SAAC]. I think she is a great representative for the MAC,” Gothke said.

“I truly believe that Swiger will be an outstanding representative of BG. She’s articulate. She’s very bright. She’s knowledgeable in a lot of areas so I’m thinking it’s going to be really good for us.”

“I don’t know how much recruits understand what SAAC is, but we’ll talk about it in the recruitment processes as something that we think is an outstanding accomplishment for one of our players,” Van De Walle said.

The Findlay, Ohio native has been a key player in the Falcons’ current 10-game winning streak; winning MAC East Player of the Week honors two straight weeks on Sept. 18 and Sept. 25. She also was named MVP of the Country Inn ‘ Suites Classic.

“She’s been great,” Van De Walle said. “And I’m so thrilled that the conference office had agreed with my assessment by giving Swiger two MAC player of the week honors. She’s been doing a really good job.”