Nik Rule
Nik Rule


Nik Rule began his role as Heart of America Athletic Conference Commissioner on February 1, 2024, after serving as the Director of Athletics at William Penn University.

Rule's dedication to athletic administration is evident through his service within both the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Heart of America Athletic Conference (Heart). Within the NAIA, Rule has played a role in championship selection committees and several different NAIA committees revolving around champions of character, drug testing, revenue generation, marketing and is the Vice President for the NAIA Athletic Directors Association (NAIA-ADA). 

In the Heart he has served as the liaison for men's and women's bowling, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, and the conference's Association of Student Athletes (HASA), while also serving as a member of the conduct and ethics committee. 

He also represents the conference on the National Administrative Council (NAC) in a role he will continue as he begins as commissioner. He also has served on the board of the Business of Small College Athletics (BOSCA).

Rule will take over as Commissioner for Lori Thomas, who spent 10 years as Commissioner from 2014 to 2024. 

As the Director of Athletics at William Penn for seven years, Rule managed 27 athletic teams and successfully introduced six new sports programs. Notably, academic achievement soared under his guidance, with the number of teams maintaining a GPA above 3.0 increasing from four to 16, while the department achieved a GPA above 3.0 for the first time since being in the NAIA. 

The Statesmen also had record placement in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup and Heart Commissioners Cup. Rule's strategic vision and innovative approach extended beyond academics to comprehensive branding initiatives that fostered greater brand unity and fan engagement. His commitment to enhancing the student-athlete experience led to improvements in gameday programming, professionalism of events and several facility enhancements.

Additionally, Rule was the Head Women's Golf Coach at William Penn from 2010-17 and 2019, while also serving as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relationships from 2012-2017. His coaching accolades included securing six conference titles, six national tournament appearances and his teams earning the NAIA Team of Character award twice. 

His teams consistently maintained NAIA scholar-team status, along with his team earning the top team GPA on campus for six-consecutive years. Rule was honored as the Heart of America Coach of Character in 2015 and was selected as a conference Coach of the Year four times. Rule was also selected the 2020 Heart Athletic Director of the Year.