Joel McMullen and Dr. Tonya Sawyer Earn Indiana State Athletic Promotions

Joel McMullen and Dr. Tonya Sawyer Earn Indiana State Athletic Promotions

Credit Source: Indiana State University Athletics

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State Director of Athletics Sherard Clinkscales announced promotions for two longtime staff members of the Sycamore Compliance Department on Tuesday.


Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance Joel McMullen has been promoted to the position of Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Compliance Coordinator Dr. Tonya Sawyer has been promoted to NCAA Compliance Assistant Director.


“Both Joel McMullen and Dr. Tonya Sawyer have been tremendous assets to our department for such a long time and especially since I have served as Athletic Director,” said Clinkscales. “Both have been instrumental in our department’s stability off the court and during these unprecedented times, which has included daily NCAA rules updates and changes. We look forward to their continued work as they lead our compliance efforts.”


McMullen’s primary responsibility is to ensure compliance with all Indiana State, Missouri Valley Conference, NCAA rules and regulations through a combination of education, policy implementation, monitoring, and enforcement.


His office serves as a direct liaison between Athletics, Hulman Center Ticket Office, Financial Aid, Registrar, Admissions, Athletic Training, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Faculty Athletic Representative, boosters, and fundraising entities on and off-campus.


“I am very thankful to Sherard for this promotion. I view it as a recognition of what Dr. Sawyer and I have been able to build here over the years with the help of so many outstanding coaches and staff. The atmosphere of compliance we have developed at ISU is something that Tonya and I take great pride in,” McMullen noted. “We both love Indiana State University and that is why we work so hard to make sure that all of us at ISU do things the right way. In the end, our goal is to be a resource to all our campus and off-campus partners, and I think we have done a very good job building that reputation.”


McMullen began working at Indiana State in August of 2007, coming from Eastern New Mexico University where he served as the Compliance Officer and Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach. Before that, he worked at Oklahoma State University as an intern in the Cowboys’ Compliance Office. He earned his Bachelor’s of General Science from Kansas University and his Juris Doctorate from Washburn University School of Law. McMullen and his wife of 36 years, Ina, have two adult sons and three grandchildren.


Sawyer began her career here with the ISU Compliance Department in 2008 as a volunteer intern while she was working on her master’s degree. Sawyer made an immediate impact and earned the trust and respect of everyone in the department and in 2010, she was hired as the Compliance Coordinator. She has worked with and has overseen all of ISU’s intercollegiate programs and has most recently served as the primary compliance liaison for women’s basketball, baseball, football, and track and field.


McMullen said of Dr. Sawyer: “No one deserves a promotion more than Tonya does. I cannot imagine operating the complexity of our office without her steady, consistent, and effective assistance. People trust Tonya and know that she will do everything within her power to assist our coaches and staff within the confines of the multitude of ISU, MVC, and NCAA rules and regulations. Tonya is a collaborator and is a very well-respected member of the ISU community and is seen as someone who can get things done. She also volunteers a great deal of her time in the community through the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels and other charitable organizations. We are truly blessed to have her on our team.”


Sawyer played softball at Saint Mary of Woods where she earned her Bachelor’s of Science in 2007; she earned her Master of Science from Indiana State in 2009 as well as her Ph.D. in Philosophy in 2014.

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