By Cedrique Flemming
There were 28 winners overall from seven collegiate divisions. Winners will receive their awards June 11 during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon at NACDA’s 54th Annual Convention in Orlando.
The ADOY Award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses and their surrounding communities.
Kavanagh previously received the honor in 2008 and 2013.
“With so many other deserving peers, I am truly humbled by this recognition,” Kavanagh said. “In turn, it simply personifies how blessed I am daily to work with such wonderful student-athletes, coaches, staff and donors who have generated our many overall collective program successes.”
Kavanagh was appointed to his position in 2009 after 13 years at Bradley University. Over his first nine years in Southwest Florida, Kavanagh has helped FGCU reach new levels of success on the field, in the classroom and in the community, while overseeing record fundraising and attendance thresholds for the Green and Blue. The Eagles have won a combined 36 ASUN regular-season titles, 22 ASUN tournament titles and eight Coastal Collegiate Sports Association championships.
Under Kavanagh’s guidance in just eight years of Division-I postseason eligibility, FGCU has sent 23 teams to NCAA Championship events, while men’s golf, swimming and men’s tennis have had individuals participate in their respective NCAA Championships, bringing the total NCAA appearances for FGCU to an astonishing 34 since 2011-12.
“Ken is a wide bandwidth AD. He cares deeply about the academic success of our student-athletes. He seeks to be competitive in all sports, and he ensures the integrity of our program in all ways,” FGCU President Dr. Mike Martin said. “Ken is fully committed to our community and fans. And he is a fully engaged member of our university leadership team. This recognition is earned in full.”
Under Armour is now in its 11th year of sponsoring the award and more than 248 different athletics directors have been honored during that time. The company is a leading inventor, marketer and distributor of branded performance athletic apparel, footwear and accessories.
“The Athletics Director of the Year Award acknowledges the positive impact top athletics directors across all levels have had at their respective institutions, and the leadership they provide to their student-athletes,” said Suzanne Williams, Under Armour’s director of collegiate sports marketing. “Under Armour is proud to partner with NACDA to honor those individuals who continue to excel and set the standard for leaders in college athletics.”
NACDA is the professional and educational association for more than 15,700 college athletics administrators at more than 1,700 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Special Divisional Selection Committees composed of current and former directors of athletics, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the award.