From the AD's DeskAs I enter my last week as the director of Javelina athletics I have mixed emotions.
Over the past three years, we have accomplished a lot and there is still so much to do. When I (we, my family) accepted this position three years ago I promised to give it my all. I promised that we would try to increase external funding, improve our athletic facilities, give back to the community and put a product on the field and in the classroom that Javelina National could be proud of.
Over the past three years, Javelina athletics has accomplished a lot. We have had 10 teams that appeared in the top 25, received five NCAA/Lone Star Conference Community Engagement Awards, won the Lone Star Conference Best Community Engagement Award of Excellence three consecutive years and completed over 65 community service and engagement projects each year.
Fifty percent of the student-athletes had a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, increased female participation by over seven percent and increased female scholarships by over 11 percent, improved the student-athlete retention rate by 12 percent, had over 150 student-athletes graduate, 46 student-athletes received All-America honors and had the second highest NCAA Division II Make-A-Wish total dollars raised in the nation.
Increased the marketing efforts by creating a new weekly 60-minute Saturday Morning Javelina Sports Show, established new Javelina athletic billboards, expanded the Javelina Radio Network into the Rio Grande Valley, launched the new website and signed a multi-year agreement with adidas to be official brand of Javelina athletics.
Reinstated the indoor track and field program; added two new female programs in women’s golf and women’s tennis; received two NCAA matching coaching enhancement grants and hired the first-ever, full-time strength and conditioning, assistant softball and assistant track and field coaches.
Increased the Javelina Club scholarship and total corporate sponsorship dollars to an all-time high; raised and secured over $2.7 million for improvements to Javelina Stadium that includes a new entrance, retail gift shop, artificial turf field and state-of-the-art track and field .
Over the past three years a number of additional athletic facility improvement projects have been completed including the football locker room, improvements to the softball field, construction of a new football practice field, new offices for the female sports and men’s basketball, renovations to McCulley Hall, new softball and baseball scoreboards, new Javelina Stadium marquee and many other facelift projects.
I believe I can hold my head up as I turn the keys over to my successor, knowing that we have moved Javelina athletics forward. I am leaving Javelina athletics in a better position today than it was three years ago.
I want to thank my wife (Michelle) and my son (Brady) for allowing me to be the director of Javelina athletics these past three years. We have enjoyed Javelina Nation and the community of Kingsville. We will always be fans and supporters to the Javelinas.
I would like to thank each and every one of my athletic staff members. I believe we currently have one of the best staffs in the country and I will miss each of you.
Furthermore, I want to thank President Tallant and the entire university, the fans and supporters for their support of Javelina athletics.
But the group that is the true blood of Javelina athletics is the student-athletes. Each one of you plays a major role in the success of Javelina athletics! It is you who truly make up Javelina Nation!
I will not say goodbye but I will say good luck and Go Hogs!
Remember Every Day is Game Day in Javelina Nation!!
Kenneth R. OliverDirector of Javelina Athletics