Since before he was born, Richard Konzem was destined to one day become the athletic director at Benedictine College.
It finally happened for Konzem.
The school will announce today that it has hired the Lawrence resident and former Kansas University senior associate athletic director to head its NAIA athletic department.
"In 1954, St. Benedict's needed an extra trumpet player for its pep band and asked my father, who was at Maur Hill, if he could do it," Konzem said. "So my dad played trumpet for the pep band when St. Benedict's won the NAIA national championship at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City."
St. Benedict's, the college of choice of Konzem's father, Bob, later merged with Mount St. Scholastica to form Benedictine College.
Konzem, whose wife Debbie works for AT&T; in Topeka, said he will make the 50-minute daily commute to Atchison.
"I'm thrilled," Konzem said. "It's a great opportunity. (Former KU AD) Bob Frederick sent me the notice about it the day after they contacted him in March."
Konzem, a KU graduate, worked 22 years in his alma mater's athletic department and one year at the Dole Center. After leaving KU in 2003, Konzem worked as a sports consultant.
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to work and have an impact with the coaches
and student-athletes," Kon-zem said. "At the Division I level, it's be-come awfully big business, awfully corporate. That's not a bad thing, but this is a way to get more involved at the hands-on level."