Senior Associate Athletics Director - Development and Sports; Senior Woman Administrator
Nancy Cross was named senior associate athletics director in July of 2004. She oversees the John Purdue Club along with five sports programs - women's basketball, men's and women's golf, and men's and women's tennis - and is the athletics department senior woman administrator.
Nance has held numerous positions in the athletics department, including associate athletics director for marketing and development (1999-2004), director of the John Purdue Club (1993-99), assistant director of the John Purdue Club (1988-93), promotions coordinator (1984-88), head field hockey coach (1981-88) and assistant women's basketball coach (1979-84).
During her tenure as field hockey coach, Cross led the Boilermakers to a 66-60-16 record. She was honored as the Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year in 1987. She served as sport commissioner for field hockey for the 1987 Pan American Games and on the WGC local organizing committee in 1991.
Nance joined the Purdue staff as assistant field hockey and assistant women's basketball coach in 1977 while earning her master's degree in physical education. After successfully completing her master's in 1978, Cross returned to her alma mater, Ashland (Ohio) College. At Ashland, she was head coach of both the women's basketball team and women's tennis team.
A native of Walpole, Mass., Nance has been very active in campus and community service. She has been the recipient of many campus honors and awards, including Outstanding Advisor by the Purdue Foundation Student Board and Outstanding Woman (sports category) by Greater Lafayette.
Assistant Athletics Director - John Purdue Club
Mike Braughton was promoted to assistant athletics director in July of 2013. He joined the John Purdue Club staff in 2006 as senior director. His primary responsibilities include major and planned gift giving as well as stewardship and donor relations.
Prior to joining the John Purdue Club, Mike served as director of development for the POSSE, Oklahoma State University's athletic scholarship fund since 2004. During his tenure at OSU, the annual fund increased revenues by 33 percent. He also served as executive director of the Tulsa (Okla.) Sports Commission, a non-profit arm of the Tulsa Metro Chamber, affiliated through the Tulsa Convention & Visitors' Bureau.
His other experience includes working with the United States Olympic Committee during the summers of 1997, 2001 and 2003, working in the International Games Preparation Division, which included travel logistics, games accreditation for United States delegations participating in international games.
Mike also has more than six years of media relations experience as an intern with the New Orleans Saints, United States Olympic Committee and the Louisiana Tech sports information department. He earned his bachelor's degree in speech communications from Louisiana Tech in 1998.
Senior Director John Purdue Club / Varsity P Club
Chris Clopton was named senior director of the John Purdue Club/Varsity P Club in 2013. He joined the John Purdue Club staff in 2007 as an assistant director after spending three seasons as a graduate assistant for the Boilermaker football team. His primary responsibilities include building the Varsity P Club by engaging former letterwinners, student-athletes, managers, athletic trainers and cheerleaders, as well as donor cultivation and fundraising.
Chris was a four-year letterwinner for the Boilermakers from 1997 to 2000. He was a wide receiver, running back and cornerback as well as kickoff return specialist. Clopton's 2000 season proved to be his finest. As part of a Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl team, he registered 41 tackles and four pass breakups. His total of 1,553 kickoff return yards is the second-most in school history, while his average of 21.3 yards ranks 16th all-time.
Chris played Arena 2 Football with the Bossier City-Shreveport (La.) Battle Wings in 2001, and he spent the 2002 and 2003 seasons with the New York Dragons of the Arena Football League.
Chris earned a bachelor's degree in computer information systems in 2001 and a master's in educational technology in 2007. He and his wife, Bethany, have a son, Zion, and a daughter, Zimri.
Associate Director - Events
Rita Zawisza joined the John Purdue Club staff in 2003 as assistant director for events and stewardship. Her primary responsibilities include planning and implementing all John Purdue Club events, travel and Champion travel as well as advising the John Purdue Club student hosts and interns.
Prior to joining the John Purdue Club, Rita was a director in the Purdue Alumni Association for 13 years, editor and assistant development director for the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education (now the College of Liberal Arts), Publicity and Advertising Director for Purdue Theatre and a freshman composition instructor for six years at Purdue.
Rita earned a bachelor's degree in communication in 1973 and a master's in education in 1982. Her older daughter, Gwyn, received a master's in public relations in 2006, while younger daughter, Jenn, received her bachelor's in apparel design technology in 2007.
Assistant Director - Premium Seating
Alex Borst joined the John Purdue Club staff as a graduate assistant in 2009. His primary responsibility is premium seating sales and stewardship.
Alex is a 2008 graduate of Purdue with a bachelor's degree in social studies education. He is originally from Indianapolis and is pursuing a master's degree in educational administration. Alex was a team manager for the men's basketball team for five years, including three years as senior manager.
Brian Cardinal joined the John Purdue Club staff in 2011.
Brian was a key member of the Boilermaker men's basketball team from 1996 to 2000, earning team Most Valuable Player honors as a senior. The consummate image of a Gene Keady-coached player, Brian was a four-time recipient of the Ray Eddy "Mr. Hustle" Award, given annually to the Boilermaker who displays the greatest amount of determination, drive and leadership. He set the school record with 259 career steals to go with 1,584 points and 749 rebounds. He earned his bachelor's degree in management.
Following his playing days at Purdue, Brian enjoyed a 12-year career in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks. He was a member of the 2011 NBA champion Mavericks.
The basketball practice court in the Mackey Arena Complex is named for Brian and his wife, Danielle (Bird), a member of the Purdue 1999 national championship women's basketball team. Brian was elected to the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.
Assistant Director - Annual Giving
Ben Kewman joined the John Purdue Club staff in 2011. His primary responsibilities include the annual fund, membership and serving as a liaison to the Athletic Ticket Office.
Ben is a 2011 graduate of Purdue's Krannert School of Management, earning a bachelor's degree in management, with a focus in marketing and strategic management. He worked in the Athletic Ticket Office during his four years as a student. Ben is originally from Nevada City, Calif.
Emily Butler joined the John Purdue Club staff in 2011 after a one-year internship. Her primary responsibilities include assisting with the planning and executing of all JPC, Varsity P and premium seating events, as well as advising the JPC student hosts and interns.
Emily is 2011 graduate of Ball State with a bachelor's degree in sport administration. She is originally from Fowler, Ind.
Charlie Coon joined the John Purdue Club staff in 2013. His primary responsibly include assisting with annual giving, stewardship, communication and recruitment of new members. Prior to joining the JPC staff, Charlie was an account executive for a year and a half with the Purdue Athletics Ticket Sales & Service team.
Charlie is a 2011 graduate of Ohio University with a bachelor's degree in sports management and a minor in business. He is currently pursuing his master's degree online in sports administration from Ohio. He worked as a marketing associate during his undergraduate days for Ohio Athletics, then completed a 10-month internship with Wofford College Athletics. He is originally from West Hartford, Conn.