Dr. Tim M. Van Alstine has a clear vision for the Western Illinois University Athletics Department - to build programs that contend for conference championships and are competitive NCAA Division I programs all while epitomizing the University’s core values. His philosophy and leadership puts Leatherneck Athletics as a contender in both the Summit League and Missouri Valley Football Conference.
During Van Alstine’s tenure over the past 12 years, Western has captured 28 conference championships, won three Conference Commissioner’s Cups (2003-05) and three consecutive runner-up finishes (2006-08). Twenty-four Western Illinois teams have advanced to postseason competition and 69 have competed as individuals representing Western at the NCAAs. Western coaches have earned 28 ‘Coach of the Year’ accolades under Van Alstine’s direction.
On 37 occasions a Leatherneck sport program has competed in a Division I postseason tournament (starting in 1975 through present day). Of those 37 appearances, 19 have occurred during Van Alstine’s tenure.
In the 2012-13 academic year, programs continued to build into a championship contender while another continued its dynasty. Men’s basketball won its first-ever Summit League regular season title and head coach Jim Molinari was named ‘Coach of the Year’. Western made its second consecutive postseason tournament appearance in the Division I era, participating in the College Basketball Invitational. Dr. Eric Johnson and the men’s soccer program continued its dynasty, winning the Summit League Tournament and advancing to the NCAA College Cup for the second consecutive year and sixth time in the last nine years.
Also last year, baseball and coach Ryan Brownlee returned to the Summit League postseason tournament, recording the most wins ever by a Leatherneck baseball first-year head coach – including a victory over the #1 team in the country. The women’s soccer team was one match away from completing a worst-to-first campaign under first-year head coach Ted Flogaites. Five student-athletes represented the track and field programs at the NCAA Outdoor Regionals, while one diver competed at the NCAA Zone competition.
Van Alstine challenged all coaches to improve the academic culture of the Athletics Department. The result is 12 consecutive semesters with a student-athlete cumulative GPA higher than the general student population, and continuing the department’s goal of a 3.00 cumulative GPA. No sport program has suffered penalties with the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate in
Three of the last six Lincoln Academy Student Laureate Award winners have been Leatherneck student-athletes, and Jenna Verity, a member of the track and field program, became the University's first-ever Rhodes Scholar finalist (Fall 2011). Since 2001, there have been 13 Leatherneck student-athletes earn the highest academic honor in NCAA Division I, CoSIDA Academic All-America.
Van Alstine insists on providing the best Division I experience for Leatherneck student-athletes, giving every opportunity to earn a degree and a championship ring. Fundraising for facility enhancements continues to be a point of emphasis for Leatherneck Athletics. Since 2011, Van Alstine has oversaw several completed projects as part of the Target: Western Forward Facilities Initiative, including: MatrixTurf installed at Hanson Field; basketball practice facility inside Brophy Hall; building a women’s soccer locker room; athletic academic services complex renovation; renovation and new weight equipment for the strength and conditioning department; addition of windscreens for tennis courts and soccer stadium; and field drainage improvements for the baseball and softball stadiums.
Since the Target: Western Forward implementation, more than $13 million has been raised for 20 major athletic facilities improvements. Fund-raising efforts continue for the $25 million upgrade to the west side of the football stadium at Hanson Field.
Upon his arrival in 2001, he instituted the "Business Backs the 'Necks Ticket Campaign", a program through which local businesses support Western Illinois Athletics by purchasing ticket packages. Van Alstine also introduced the Varsity Letterwinners Club, a fund and friend-raising effort to reconnect Western with its prior student-athletes. In 2002 Van Alstine negotiated and finalized a partnership with adidas America, a contract renewed again in 2010. He also created Rocky's Locker Room, an exclusive effort to market and sell authentic Western Illinois Athletics apparel.
During the 2004-05 academic year, Van Alstine guided the Athletics Department through the NCAA Self-Study Certification process. The NCAA's final report "CERTIFIED" the Western Illinois University Athletics Department. Also in 2004-05, the department earned the prestigious President's Award for Commitment to Diversity and Equity. In June 2005, Van Alstine earned the Sportsmanship Award from the Citizenship Through Sports Alliance (CTSA) and NACDA.
In July 2005 Van Alstine was promoted to Assistant Vice-President for Student Services.
Van Alstine is a member of the University's Gender Equity Committee and continues to advance the commitment to gender equity and the advancement of a gender neutral environment, including the unification of the Department's nickname and identity.
Van Alstine served The Summit League representative on the NCAA Division I Administrative Cabinet form 2004-09. He is a member of NACDA's FCS Athletic Director's Association Executive Committee and served as President during the 2008-09 academic year. He served as the Missouri Valley Football Conference representative to the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee and the NCAA FCS Football Committee.
Van Alstine has served as chair of The Summit League Joint Council, chair of the Missouri Valley Football Conference Athletic Directors Council, and chair of The Summit League Men's Basketball Coaches Committee. He is currently chair of The Summit League Competition Committee and a member of the Membership Committee.
Van Alstine was named Director of Athletics at Western Illinois in July 2001, after serving as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs at Ohio University since 1995. While at Ohio, Van Alstine was responsible for all athletic department operations that impacted the general public, including ticket sales, media services, publications, marketing, promotions, and television and radio broadcast properties and licensing.
Prior to serving at Ohio, Van Alstine was the Director of Ticket Operations at the University of Wisconsin from 1990-95 where he was responsible for a ticket office that handled approximately 1.3 million tickets annually. While at Wisconsin, Van Alstine handled ticket duties for the 1993 Coca-Cola Bowl in Tokyo, Japan; the 1994 Rose Bowl; and the 1995 Hall of Fame Bowl. He also served as ticket director for the 1991 NCAA Volleyball Regionals.
He served as the Director of Athletics Services at the University of Maine from 1989-90. He began his athletics administration career at the University of Illinois, where he was an assistant academics counselor from 1986-89 while working on his doctoral degree.
Van Alstine earned his bachelor's degree from St. Norbert College in 1982. He received his master's degree from Fordham in 1984 and his doctorate from Illinois in 1992. He and his wife, Lynn, are the parents of twin daughters (and Western Illinois University graduates) Leah and Abby.