Rusty Kennedy Named RSC Athletic Director of the Year
Rusty Kennedy has been named the 2021-22 River States Conference Athletic Director of the Year. Kennedy, the Vice President of Admissions & Athletics at Midway, was selected after a vote of his fellow athletic directors in the conference.
This is the second time that Kennedy has received the honor. He previously was named in 2016-17, his first year at Midway. Kennedy just completed his sixth year at Midway in 2021-22.
“Rusty has done a great job overseeing the expansion of our athletics program over the last several years, which has also helped fuel six consecutive years of enrollment growth at Midway University,” said Dr. John P. Marsden, Midway University President. “As a result of his leadership, we have had stability among a caring and engaged group of coaches, several winning teams, strong student-athlete retention rates and support for student success in the classroom.”
“I am humbled and grateful that my peers have honored me with this award,” said Kennedy. “The River States Conference has a fantastic commissioner and many outstanding athletic directors.
“I owe all the credit for our success at Midway University to the outstanding student-athletes and dedicated athletic staff, who make me look good. I am privileged to work for a leader in our President, Dr. John Marsden, who supports our students in all their academic and extracurricular endeavors.”
Kennedy has led the growth and success of the Midway athletic department since he was named athletic director in January 2016. Those trends continued in 2021-22, and thus he was honored with the award.
Kennedy is also the chair of the RSC Administrative Council, which is the council of athletic directors in the conference. In that role, he leads the AD meetings held throughout the year that direct policies and procedures within the conference. Kennedy is a member of the RSC Finance and Membership Committees and is the AD Liaison for the sport of women’s basketball.
With nearly 600 student-athletes on campus, it was a successful year for several athletic teams at Midway. The Eagles won the RSC Championship in men’s cross country and men’s golf to advance to the NAIA National Championship. Midway volleyball made nationals for the first time as RSC Championship runner-up. The Eagles made their first nationals appearance in women’s basketball as RSC West Division Champs and RSC Championship runner-up. The men’s and women’s track and field teams hit a new high for national qualifiers in a single year and earned NAIA All-American honors.
It was also a successful year in the classroom with 24 of the 27 varsity sports teams having a team GPA above 3.00 in the spring 2022 semester. There were a school record 373 student-athletes named to the Athletic Director Honor Roll, which is for those who have a 3.00 GPA or higher.
Midway now has 28 varsity sports teams, the most in the RSC. The Eagles compete in all 17 RSC Championship sports plus several others that are affiliated with other conferences. Men’s and women’s swimming and esports were added for 2020-21, and sprint football will begin competition in fall 2022.
With this year’s honor, Kennedy becomes just the third honoree to win this award multiple times joining Joe Glover from IU Southeast and Pat Mrozowski from IU Southeast and Brescia.
YEAR BY YEAR — RSC/KIAC ATHLETIC DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
2003-04 — Pat Mrozowski, Indiana University Southeast
2004-05 — Pat Mrozowski, Indiana University Southeast
2005-06 — Pat Mrozowski, Indiana University Southeast
2006-07 — Pat Mrozowski, Indiana University Southeast
2007-08 — Pat Mrozowski, Indiana University Southeast
2008-09 — Pat Mrozowski, Indiana University Southeast
2009-10 — Jill Jokerst, St. Louis College of Pharmacy
2010-11 — Wendy Hoffman, Midway College
2011-12 — Pat Mrozowski, Brescia University
2012-13 — Joe Glover, Indiana University Southeast
2013-14 — Dan Swalga, Point Park University
2014-15 — Jeff Lanham, University of Rio Grande
2015-16 — Mark Perdue, Asbury University
2016-17 — Rusty Kennedy, Midway University
2017-18 — Joe Glover, Indiana University Southeast
2018-19 — Greg Cooper, Indiana University Kokomo
2019-20 – Kenny Howell, WVU Tech
2020-21 — Dave Bireline, Ohio Christian University
2021-22 — Rusty Kennedy, Midway University