Dan Kenney, athletic director for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, was named Athletic Director (AD) of the Year by his peers at the June 21 meeting of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
The NACDA announced 29 winners of the GeneralSports TURF Systems AD of the Year Award. Kenney won for Division II in the Southeast region.
Kenney received the awards during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon at NACDA’s 41st Annual Convention in New Orleans.
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors said the award is well deserved.
“Dan Kenney is committed to the academic and athletic success of our students and UNC Pembroke, Chancellor Meadors said. “The University community applauds him for this outstanding recognition of his achievements.”
NACDA Executive Director Mike Cleary says the award is an important one because it highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to campuses and their surrounding communities.
“Our Honors and Awards Committee recognized a need for an award such as the Athletic Director of the Year,” said Cleary. “The program brings to light the exceptional jobs done by athletics directors across the country. These 29 winners exemplify outstanding athletic directors who excel at their jobs."
Kenney has been in college athletics for more than 30 years, the last eight as director of athletics at UNCP, where he added women’s soccer and golf and is preparing to launch football in fall 2007.
Kenney said he appreciates the honor from his peers.
“I am humbled and very honored to be recognized by NACDA,” he said. “I am indebted to all the wonderful people especially Dr. Meadors, our Chancellor, for supporting my nomination.
“This award is really a reflection on the job that our coaches and athletic support staff do at UNCP,” Kenney said. “In accepting this award, I do in on behalf of our wonderful student-athletes and coaches. I also thank the late Lacey Gane and Dr. Raymond Pennington, who served as director of athletics before me and provided me with a great example of what leadership and service means.”
It’s been a go-go era in UNCP athletics with Kenney directing more than $10 million in improvements and additions to the University’s athletics facilities. He hired a head football coach and work is underway on a football fund raising campaign, stadium and field house.
Previously, Kenney was a basketball coach for 23 years at four universities in the Carolinas. As a coach, he was the National Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year in 1991 and was the Central Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Coach of the Year in 1987 and 1991. Kenney earned his bachelor and master's degrees from East Carolina University.
All NACDA-member directors of athletics in the United States, Canada and Mexico who met the criteria were eligible for the award. Among the criteria were service as an athletic director (AD) for a minimum of five academic years; demonstration of commitment to higher education and student-athletes; continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence; and the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments.
Additionally, each AD’s institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body (i.e., NCAA, NAIA, etc.), in which the institution could not have been on probation or cited for a lack of institutional control within the last five years during the tenure of the current athletics director.