Kennesaw State’s athletic director, Dave Waples, steps down after 23 years of service
Only second athletics director in the university’s history KENNESAW, Ga. (August 2, 2010)…
Georgia (Aug 2, 2010) — Only second athletics director in the university’s history
KENNESAW, Ga. (August 2, 2010) — After 23 years as Kennesaw State University’s athletic director – only the second AD in the university’s history – Dr. Dave Waples has announced that he is stepping down from the post.
At a press conference held today at Kennesaw State’s Bobbie Bailey Athletic Complex attended by local media, KSU coaches and athletic department staff, Kennesaw State President Dr. Daniel S. Papp announced that he had accepted Waples’ resignation from the AD’s position, effective August 15.
As Kennesaw State’s athletic director, Waples led the university’s move from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II in 1994-95. In 2005, the long-serving athletic director spearheaded the university’s transition to Division I status, a move that was completed in August 2009. Today, all 16 KSU teams compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
"The high quality and solid reputation of Kennesaw State’s men's and women's athletic programs are direct reflections of Dave’s outstanding leadership over the years," Dr. Papp stated. “Throughout his tenure, Dave has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of KSU through athletics. Today, we express our deep gratitude for all that Dave has contributed, and we celebrate his success and his many contributions to the university’s athletics program.”
Waples is credited with reshaping Kennesaw State’s athletics program, which was comprised of only four sports (baseball, men's and women's basketball and slow-pitch softball) when he joined KSU in 1987. Under Waples’ direction, the university’s athletics program has been transformed into one of the top college athletics programs in the country.
During Waples’ tenure, the KSU Owls have produced six national championships, 26 regional championships, 38 Peach Belt championships, nine Atlantic Sun Conference championships and over 100 All-American honors.
In addition to his stellar record of athletics achievements, Waples also is responsible for helping to raise academic standards for KSU’s 275 student athletes. During the 2009-2010 academic year, the grade-point average (GPA) of KSU athletes improved to a record 2.97 GPA and more than 50 percent of all KSU student-athletes made the Atlantic Sun All-Academic Team, which requires a 3.00, or above, GPA.
“My goal as a young man was to make a living in sports,” said Waples. “KSU helped me achieve that dream, and I will never be able pay this university back for what it has done for me. I am especially grateful to both Dr. Betty Siegel and Dr. Daniel Papp, both of whom gave me the opportunity to work with some of the best coaches, faculty, staff, administrators, students and athletes. In addition, I want to personally thank Dr. Papp for his patience, advice and counsel especially during the four-years of transition to Division I. In my opinion, his knowledge and expertise makes him probably the best athletic president in the country today.”
Prior to joining KSU, Waples served as commissioner of the Gulf Star Conference, an NCAA Division I league based in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Before becoming an athletics administrator, Waples had a successful career as both a player and a coach. He began his coaching career as a football assistant at the University of New Mexico. He later served as a coach at West Liberty State College in West Virginia, and Valdosta State University in Georgia, and also coached at the high-school level in his home state of Ohio.
Waples, who is a native of Columbus, Ohio, will retire from Kennesaw State on June 30, 2011. In the interim, he will assist President Papp with several athletics-related special projects, including addressing the recommendations of the university’s Football Exploratory Committee that are slated for submission in September. He also will assist in the development of the university’s Athletic Association infrastructure, a process that is currently underway.
President Papp also announced today that he has appointed Scott Whitlock, KSU’s senior associate athletic director and head softball coach, to serve as Kennesaw State’s interim athletic director while a national search is being conducted.
Whitlock has served Kennesaw State for more than two decades, as both a coach and as an athletics department administrator. He joined Kennesaw State in 1985 as assistant softball and assistant women’s basketball coach. From 1995-2004, Whitlock served as Kennesaw State’s assistant athletic director. In 2004, he was promoted to his current position as senior associate athletic director, in which capacity he is responsible for helping to oversee the day-to-day operations of the university’s athletics department.
A member of the Women’s Softball Hall of Fame, Whitlock has one of the highest-win totals in the sport, garnering 13 regional crowns and back-to-back Division II National Championships in 1995 and 1996.
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the second-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 126 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.