Midway’s Rusty Kennedy tabbed RSC Athletic Director of the Year
Midway University Athletic Director Rusty Kennedy has been selected as the 2016-17 River States Conference Athletic Director of the Year. The award was voted on by his peer athletic directors in the conference. “I am humbled and grateful that my peers have honored me with this award,” said Kennedy. “It was an unbelievable year for Midway University and especially the athletic department.” Kennedy added, “A lot of credit goes to our outstanding student-athletes and athletic staff, who make me look good. I also want to thank our board of trustees and President Dr. John Marsden, whose vision and leadership made our growth and success possible.” When Kennedy arrived in January 2016, Midway was a women’s only institution and just a few months later the board of trustees voted to make the transition to a coeducational institution leading to the debut of men’s sports for the first-time ever in 2016-17. Kennedy oversaw big changes that made Midway’s athletic department and the conference stronger, including the addition of many staff positions. The Eagles also had strong showings in several of the conference standings. It was a historic year for Midway in 2016-17 under Kennedy’s guidance with the addition of six new varsity sports teams, which included the first four men’s sports teams in school history. The addition of six new sports came with added enrollment which increased the student-athlete total from 92 to 260. Kennedy also oversaw the addition of 10 new athletic staff positions, which included the coaches of the new sports and the school’s first full-time sports information director. On the athletic side, it was a successful season for Midway. The Eagles won the RSC Women’s Golf Championship for the second consecutive season and won the RSC Baseball Tournament in their first-ever season. Both teams went on to compete in their respective NAIA National Championships. The Eagles also had a strong season in women’s basketball as the RSC West Division co-champions and also in softball as regular season runner-up. It not only was a successful season for Midway athletically, but as well in the classroom. As an athletic department, Midway posted an overall grade point average (GPA) of 3.06. The Eagles placed 120 student-athletes on the dean’s list with a 3.60 GPA or higher. Midway also earned the Silver level of the NAIA’s Five Star Champions of Character program, the highest level achieved in the school’s history.