Christian Spears has served at NIU since April 2009. Spears' responsibilities at NIU include serving as the primary liaison between several campus units and Intercollegiate Athletics, including Academic and Student Affairs as well as the Office of General Counsel. Additionally, Spears supervises the following administrative areas for NIU: academics, compliance, life skills, strength and conditioning, sport psychology, football operations and equipment. Moreover, he coordinates the department's Academic Progress Rate (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR). He is also the sport administrator for cross-country, women's soccer, men's tennis, track and field and wrestling.
Prior to joining NIU, Spears served as Assistant Athletic Director for six years at Southern Illinois University. During his time at SIU, Spears managed the Saluki Athletic Compliance Office and the athletic financial aid office. He was also the sport administrative liaison for Men's and Women's Track and Field and Cross-Country.
Spears came to SIU in fall of 2003 from Harvard University where he was Assistant Director for Athletic Compliance. In that role, he assessed initial and continuing eligibility for 2,000 prospective and enrolled student-athletes and he monitored the academic progress of student-athletes and participated as a non-resident academic advisor. Moreover, he worked with Director of Athletics managing the academic/admission index for all entering student-athletes.
Spears began his career as a graduate student working in the athletic marketing office at Long Beach State University; he then served as the Big Ten Intern for Ohio State University working in their athletic compliance office while he matriculated through the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State.
Spears is a graduate of the University of Washington, where he majored in political science. He obtained a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Long Beach State University in 1998 and he received his Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law in 2002.
In the spring of 2009, Spears began a four-year term on the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC) Board of Directors and he serves as the President of NAAC.
Christian and his wife, Julia, reside in Sycamore, Illinois with their sons, Rainier and Kai and their daughter Skyla.