We're 13x winners of the Champions of Character award. We're proud to bring home this award year in and year out, and we value the lessons this program reinforces for our student-athletes. 

NAIA Gold Member Status

We've achieved the Champions of Character Gold Member Status with the NAIA since 2011. Our well-rounded athletes have earned us the top spot among 168 member institutions named Five-Star Award winners in the NAIA Champions of Character competition.

Award History 

The Koalas athletics program has earned a perfect score based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages having minimal to no ejections during competition throughout the course of the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 academic years. Columbia College Koalas were also the National Runner-Up for the National Champions of Character award in 2012-2013.

Institutions are measured on a demonstrated commitment to the NAIA's five core values, as well as earned points in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition, and character promotion.

NAIA Core Values

  1. integrity
  2. respect
  3. responsibility
  4. sportsmanship
  5. servant leadership

Player Pledge 

Our student-athletes take the Champions of Character Pledge seriously. Student-athletes understand they have a responsibility to represent themselves, their team, the athletics department, Columbia College, the AAC, and the NAIA with good sportsmanship and integrity.  

Student-athletes are all very competitive and realize that there is honor in being respectful to opponents, along with setting good examples on and off the field. Columbia College's student-athletes spend a significant number of hours each year serving in the community and sharing the Five Core Values of the NAIA with peers, parents, and the public.

The Champions of Character program

The Champions of Character program is sponsored by the NAIA and asks all student-athletes to pledge to adopt the five core character values of the NAIA. The Champions of Character program strives towards these main objectives:

  • Provide opportunities for the Champions of Character process to be incorporated into athletic programs.
  • Offer leadership opportunities to student-athletes by allowing them to teach the 5 Core Values to others.
  • Increase the number of parents and adult role models who are trained on how to give proper support and be positive influences on young men and women.
  • Positively impact the character development of students through experiences and education.

Columbia College student-athletes and coaches are expected to excel in all five areas of Champions of Character. Our coaching staff has completed the Character-Driven Coaching course sponsored by the NAIA. Character-Driven Coaching has allowed our coaching staff to examine their coaching philosophy and use the course to create plans to build character within our teams, support student-athletes better, and build on their overall experience.