Emil S. Liston coached Baker University to Kansas Conference Championships in 1930 and 1937. Liston and good friend James Naismith organized and developed the NAIB Small College National Tournament (now known as the NAIA). In 1937, the first NAIB/NAIA tournament was played in Kansas City with an eight-team field. In 1945, Liston became the NAIA's first full-time Executive Director, a position he held until his death in 1949. In 1948, the NAIB affirmed its commitment to equality by becoming the first national organization to offer intercollegiate postseason opportunities to student-athletes of color, then voted for full membership to historically black colleges in 1953. As a testament to his legacy of promoting equal opportunity for student-athletes, Liston's NAIA basketball tournament continues to feature an exciting 'round-the-clock showcase of small college basketball that attracts fans from all over the country.
Died October 26, 1949