"Calli has demonstrated great leadership skills since coming to ISU," Van De Velde said. "She has earned the respect of her peers. NCAA committee members and our visiting teams commended her work during the women's basketball regional. Her presence makes us a better athletics department in many different ways."
Sanders came to Ames from the University of Maine, where she served as associate dean of students for student services for two years. She spent 14 years working in intercollegiate athletics prior to her appointment at Maine.
A 1986 graduate of Montana with a degree in communications, Sanders began her athletics administrative career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 1988. She wore many hats at UAB, including serving as the senior woman administrator, compliance coordinator and associate sports information director. She was promoted to assistant athletics director and then associate athletics director in 1992, helping UAB establish Division I-A football and women's soccer programs. She created the first NCAA compliance unit and academic advising program for UAB's student-athletes.
In 1997, Sanders returned to her home state of Montana, serving as senior associate director of athletics at Montana State until 2001. She oversaw MSU's compliance, academics and athletic business departments while directly supervising nine athletic teams, including men's and women's basketball. The Great Falls, Mont., native was appointed to the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee, where she served a two-year term from 1999-2001. She chaired the West Regional advisory committee and the site selection subcommittee, which was responsible for the selection of the cities that will play host to the 2005, 2006 and 2007 NCAA Women's Basketball Final Fours. She continues to serve as a peer reviewer for the NCAA certification program and sits on the editorial board of Athletic Management Magazine.
While at MSU, Sanders was a member of the Big Sky Conference's committees on television, legislation and ethical conduct and violations. She served on the Great Midwest Conference's gender equity committee while at UAB and chaired the school's campus NCAA compliance committee.
Sanders earned her master's degree in education at UAB in 1990 and finished her course work for her doctorate in higher education administration at Montana State, where she expects to complete her doctorate this fall. She completed the Sports Management Institute's seven-month executive program in 2002. Calli and Rick Sanders have three children (Theisen, Jack, Molly).