MOUNT PLEASANT – Central Michigan University Director of Athletics Dave Heeke has announced the addition of two staff members.
Benjy Wilber has been named the athletics department’s director of compliance, while Jason Kaufman is CMU’s new sports information director.
“We are pleased to welcome Benjy and Jason to our administrative staff,” Heeke said. “Both bring strong backgrounds and experience and will be great additions to our department.”
Wilber will serve as CMU’s liaison to the NCAA and Mid-American Conference offices for NCAA rules interpretations and other matters. He also will be responsible for developing and coordinating educational programs on NCAA rules and regulations for athletics staff, student-athletes and boosters.
A 1997 graduate of CMU, Wilber returns to his alma mater after nine years in the compliance office at the University of Wisconsin. Wilber had been Wisconsin’s associate director of compliance since May 2003, including a three-month stint in 2004 as the interim director of compliance.
Wilber handled a variety of responsibilities in his most recent role. Among his duties were submitting NCAA self-reports, preparing NCAA and Big Ten waivers and petitions, preparing educational materials and administering educational meetings with staff and student-athletes, coordinating all communication with the NCAA Eligibility Center, assisting the registrar’s office with student-athlete eligibility and evaluating transcripts of prospective student-athletes during the admissions process.
Wilber’s professional career began with one year as a graduate assistant in the compliance office at CMU. He served as both an event manager assistant and compliance assistant at the University of Utah from August 1998-June 2000 before moving on to Wisconsin.
At Utah, Wilber created educational documents and administered educational meetings with student-athletes and athletics staff members, monitored student-athlete employment and assisted in determining initial and continuing eligibility for student-athletes among other responsibilities. He assisted in the gameday operations for several sports and was part of the event management teams for the NCAA Skiing Championships, NCAA Gymnastics Championships and the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Kaufman will direct the athletics department’s media relations and publicity efforts.
Kaufman comes to CMU from Western Illinois University, where he had been the assistant athletics director for media services and broadcasting since December 2005. He began his career as a graduate assistant at Western Illinois in 1997 before being promoted to assistant sports information director (1999-01) and director of media services prior to his most recent role.
Kaufman was the managing editor of Western Illinois’ athletics Web site, goleathernecks.com. He created the university’s first official athletics site before eventually signing an agreement with JumpTV in 2006 to host the site. Kaufman directed the media relations efforts for a 20-sport Division I program at WIU, implemented the department’s social media presence on Twitter and YouTube and established visual identity guidelines to maintain consistency and brand awareness throughout the department.
Several of Kaufman’s football media guides earned national honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), including his 2003 guide that was voted Best in the Nation.
Kaufman is an active member of CoSIDA and has worked at several men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments. He is also a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kaufman earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Cedarville University in 1997 and master’s degree in sport management from Western Illinois in 1999.