About National Park College
National Park College is a community college offering customized workforce training for business and industry, on-site courses for the hospitality and tourism industry, on campus computer classes, online classes, and various professional development workshops.
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Latest National Park College News
Feb 15, 2023
by I.C. Murrell |Today at 3:51 a.m. Former National Park College Coach and Athletic Director Jason Hudnell sits in the Southeast Arkansas College president's office after his interview Tuesday. Murrell) If Jason Hudnell is hired as Southeast Arkansas College's first athletic director, it won't be his first time getting an athletic program off the ground. Hudnell took on that role at National Park College in Hot Springs from 2016-22, serving as head men's basketball coach for three of those seasons (2017-20) in addition to being dean of enrollment. "I understand how athletics can change the culture of a campus," Hudnell, 47, said Tuesday after interviewing for the new dual position at SEARK. "I understand how athletics bring on more opportunities for students, and in reality that's the heartbeat of every institution, providing opportunity. So, it is why I'm interested in being part of this role." Hudnell was the first of three final candidates vying for AD and dean of students on the Pine Bluff campus this week. Former University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and UA Monticello official Ka'Lisa Stanfield, most recently interim athletic director at Alabama A&M University, will meet with SEARK President Steven Bloomberg and other staff members today, with former Dyersburg (Tenn.) State Community College men's basketball Coach and AD Chad Kline coming Thursday. The candidates each take part in a public forum at 2 p.m. on the day of their appearance at the training room inside SEARK's Welcome Center. The successful hire will be tasked with launching junior college athletics in a town that is already home to Division I sports at UAPB. Still, Hudnell, who finished his undergraduate studies at Ouachita Baptist University and earned a master's degree at Arkansas Tech University, believes junior college athletics are strong in their own right. "There's college athletics at the Division I level, and not all athletes are Division I-level," he explained. "That can be for a variety of different reasons. Maybe their ability, but I think people are also going to find the level of play at the JUCO level is a lot higher than most people believe. Sometimes the reason they're at the JUCO level is because they haven't had an opportunity. Maybe it's grades. Maybe it's test scores. Maybe they had an opportunity somewhere else and it didn't work out, and they need that second chance. There is a place even in a city that has a Division I program. There is a place for athletics because there is always a place for opportunity." Hudnell posted a 45-24 coaching record with National Park and also supervised 175 students across eight sports. He was also NJCAA Region II chair for soccer and softball. He left National Park after the college split its dean of enrollment and AD roles and is now interim director of admissions at the Arkansas School for Math, Sciences and the Arts in Hot Springs. He does not plan to pursue either the men's or women's basketball coaching position at SEARK. The college will roll out its athletic department with baseball, softball and e-sports in the 2023-24 school year, with basketball to come the following year. "I believe this position, to be a quality dean of students and quality athletic director, is not going to allow for me to be a quality head coach as well," Hudnell said. "Because of the respect I have for the dean of students position and the athletic director position and doing all it entails in those jobs, I would anticipate hiring all of the coaches." SEARK has already acquired the former Seabrook YMCA facility on South Hazel Street, a short drive from the campus, as well as a former nursing home nearby that will be converted into a residential hall for student-athletes. "The campus is well-engaged," Hudnell said. "There's a lot of forethought put into purchasing the Seabrook facility. That was before they announced athletics, but you could tell where they wanted to go because they've done things to put themselves in position to have the facilities needed." Print Headline: SEARK inches closer to filling AD position ADVERTISEMENT
National Park College Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When was National Park College founded?
National Park College was founded in 1973.
Where is National Park College's headquarters?
National Park College's headquarters is located at 101 College Drive, Hot Springs.
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