May 5, 2014
Marti Gasser, associate athletics director and senior woman administrator at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Breda Bova, faculty athletics representative at the University of New Mexico, have been named recipients of the Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award.
Named in honor of the former Colorado State University president, the award is presented to individuals who have successfully supported, promoted and exemplified the ideals of the Mountain West or a member institution. With the addition of Gasser and Bova, the number of individuals who have received the award increases to 11 during the Mountain West's 15-year history.
As two of the original members of the Mountain West Joint Council, Gasser and Bova have demonstrated their commitment to academic excellence and integrity in collegiate athletics through their respective roles at Air Force and New Mexico and by actively participating in a variety of MW and NCAA committees.
Gasser has spent 31 years in the athletics department at the U.S. Air Force Academy, the last 16 in the dual roles of associate athletics director and senior woman administrator. In addition to overseeing the Academy's NCAA compliance division and student-athlete advisory committee, she supervises 12 sports and is the athletics department liaison for all intercollegiate women's programs.
In her position as senior woman administrator, Gasser also serves as the university's Title IX coordinator. In this role, she is responsible for coordinating the Academy's efforts to comply with all federal regulations as they pertain to Title IX legislation. During her tenure, she has been a part of more than 30 committees at the university, community and national level. Most recently, Gasser spearheaded the formation of the athletics department's Culture and Climate Committee, which is tasked with fostering mutual respect within the Academy's athletics department and among cadet-athletes.
Gasser's career at the Academy began in 1983 when she became the head women's basketball coach. During her 15 years at the helm of the Falcons, she amassed a 233-172 record while leading the program to four conference championships and two NCAA tournament appearances. The recipient of several honors during her coaching career, Gasser was named conference coach of the year three times, and her 15-year tenure and 233 career victories are the most in Academy history in women's basketball. Gasser also lent her coaching expertise to USA Basketball, serving as an assistant coach on the 1994 Jones Cup gold medalist team and as a floor coach during national team trials in 1987, 1989 and 1995.
A native of Logan, Ohio, Gasser received a bachelor's degree in education in 1976 from The Ohio State University, where she was a basketball student-athlete. She went on to earn her master's degree in education from the University of Cincinnati in 1979.
A professor in the University of New Mexico education department, Bova has served as the Lobos' faculty athletics representative for 16 years. In her role as FAR, she supervises the university's compliance with Mountain West and NCAA rules. Bova has also worked diligently with student-athletes to address specific issues and challenges facing them on the UNM campus, including being a part of the university's Athletic Council. In addition, Bova has been actively involved in intercollegiate athletics at the national level, sitting on the NCAA Research Committee and serving a one-year stint as chair of the NCAA Certification Committee.
During her 36-year tenure at UNM, Bova has served the College of Education as the department director of programs, as well as the associate dean. Prior to her current position as Special Assistant to the Dean of the College of Education, Bova was the university's Chief of Staff to the President.
In addition to being a published author, Bova has served on more than 70 university, community and national committees during her time at New Mexico. She has received numerous honors throughout her career, most recently being recognized with the university's Jamie Koch Distinguished Service Award.
Bova attended St. Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.) College where she received a bachelor's degree in education in 1967. The New Jersey native earned her master's degree in educational research from Dayton in 1969 and her Ph.D. in adult education from New Mexico in 1979.