• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Rusty Kennedy named Midway Univ. athletic director

On Monday, March 7, Midway University announced that Rusty Kennedy has been named the university’s new athletic director. Kennedy comes to Midway with 18 years of experience as a coach, instructor and administrator at the NJCAA, NAIA, and NCAA collegiate levels. “During the interview process, Rusty really stood out, not only because of his credentials and experience, but because of his passion and enthusiasm,” said Dr. John P. Marsden, president of Midway University. “There’s great potential for Midway’s athletics department, and with his background and drive, I’m confident that Rusty will provide the leadership needed to take our programs to the next level.” Kennedy, who holds a B.S. in exercise science from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a M.S. in management from Southern Nazarene University, was most recently the head women’s basketball coach at NCAA Division II Western New Mexico University in Silver City, N.M. Prior to coaching, he was the athletic director at Clarendon College in Texas from 2004 to 2005 and 2007 to 2010. During his time in that role, he supervised 13 sports and more than 280 student-athletes. He also chaired the athletic committee and sat on both the faculty and student grievance appeals committees. Kennedy got his start in athletic administration at Central Baptist College. There, in 1999 and 2000, he served as athletic director and led the school’s transition from a two-year junior college athletic program to a four-year athletic program. Along with a new athletic director, Midway University will also add new sports, as tennis and cross country will return from hiatus in fall 2016 and bring the total number of school-sponsored sports to 11 for the 2016-17 academic year. “This is an exciting time for Midway athletics as we expand our offerings,” said Kennedy. “I’m thrilled that we’re able to bring tennis and cross country back from hiatus to provide new opportunities for student-athletes.” In addition to hiring Kennedy, at the February board of trustees meeting, two board members – Jan Hunter and Belinda Metzger – stepped forward with donations for athletics, as the two each gave $25,000 towards some athletic facilities. “Our board members are demonstrating their overall support for a strong athletic program at the university,” said Marsden.

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