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Archive for Sunday, January 2, 2011

KU names Sheahon Zenger new athletic director

New KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger.

New KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger.

January 2, 2011, 4:22 p.m. Updated January 2, 2011, 4:29 p.m.

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Sheahon Zenger Timeline

• 1987 — Graduated from Kansas State with bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education

• 1987 — Accepted first football coaching gig, working with freshmen at Manhattan High School

• 1988 — Accepted position with Drake football team as graduate assistant

• 1989 — Served as assistant recruiting coordinator/director of football operations at Kansas State

• 1992 — Earned master’s in journalism and mass communication from Kansas State

• 1993-95 — Became editor of American Football Quarterly magazine

• 1996 — Earned Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership from Kansas University

• 1996 — Accepted position as recruiting coordinator for South Florida football team

• 1997 — Became recruiting coordinator for Wyoming football team

• 1998 — Promoted to assistant head coach at Wyoming

• 2000 — Worked in Kansas State College of Business as director of development

• 2001-02 — Became assistant athletics director for major gifts at Kansas State

• 2002-05 — Promoted to associate athletics director for development at Kansas State

• 2005-10 — Served as athletic director for Illinois State

• 2010 — Accepted athletic director position at Kansas University, replacing Lew Perkins

Kansas University has named Sheahon Zenger its next athletic director.

Zenger is currently the athletic director at Illinois State University and is a Kansas native and KU graduate.

“With his experience and leadership skills, Sheahon Zenger is the best choice to lead Kansas Athletics into the future. He is exactly who we need as athletics director, working to ensure that every Jayhawk team succeeds on the field and in the classroom, as well as making sure our programs operate with the utmost integrity,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little in a statement.

Zenger will be officially introduced at a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Monday. He will start at KU on February 1, 2011.

Dr. Sheahon (pronounced SHAY-un) Zenger comes to KU after spending six years as athletic director for Illinois State.

A native of Hays, Zenger helped Illinois State capture the Missouri Valley’s All-Sports Trophy in both 2008 and 2010. ISU also has had a 65-percent growth in its scholarship fund memberships since his arrival, while the athletic department has posted record-high grade-point averages in each of the last four years.

Prior to joining ISU, Zenger was the associate athletics director for development at Kansas State from 2002-05. Before that, he spent two years as KSU’s assistant athletics director for major gifts and also spent a year with the KSU College of Business as director of development. He graduated from KSU in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in English and secondary education. He later earned his master’s in journalism and mass communication from KSU in 1992 before earning a Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership from KU in 1996.

Before moving to administration, Zenger was a football coach. His first coaching gig was with Manhattan High School in 1987, and he moved on to Drake as a graduate assistant for a year before accepting a football position with KSU in 1989.

At age 23, Zenger was one of the nation’s youngest full-time football staff members, serving as assistant recruiting coordinator and director of football operations for KSU coach Bill Snyder.

From 1993-95, Zenger was editor of American Football Quarterly — a magazine for football coaches. In 1996, he became recruiting coordinator for South Florida before accepting the same position with the University of Wyoming the following year.

In 1998, Zenger was promoted to assistant head coach at Wyoming.

At ISU, Zenger served on numerous NCAA committees, including the NCAA Div. I Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement.

Zenger and his wife, Pam, have three children: Luke, Abby and Jake.

Comments

edjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

The question remains on how he will be monitoring the Turner Gill regime. Probably scared to pull the trigger at some point because of the Chancellor.

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squawkhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Great! A K-Stater at the helm of our storied athletic deptartment. Oh well, he probably couldn't screw it up any more than it already is. Good Grief!

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Kontum1972 3 years, 3 months ago

gee most of you are ready to execute this guy before he even starts....what the H*LL is wrong with you all....?

If your alumni take it up with the alumni center and voice your opinions, tell them you are going to stop the thousands of dollars u donate very year to KU...i am pretty sure they will listen if your going to cut-off the Alumni Loyalty Fund process.

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Lindsey Buscher 3 years, 3 months ago

I just don't like the strong ties to KSUck.

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BruceWayne 3 years, 3 months ago

good luck Dr. Zenger! Welcome back.

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irvan moore 3 years, 3 months ago

he has what appears to be a pretty good football background, do you think he was told before hiring he could not replace Gill?

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clorox 3 years, 3 months ago

LMFAO What a loser. Heeee haaaaaa heeee haaaaa. He is no Buba Cunnigham. The people at Illnois State are jumping for joy. Ok redbirds time to get rid of that other stupid hire. Tim Jankovich. Maybe we can send him back to KU too.

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Gandalf 3 years, 3 months ago

I don't see anything wrong with him as an AD choice. Give him full marks for courage for taking the job to clean up after Lew.

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Topiarydan 3 years, 3 months ago

As an ISU alumnus, you are gettting a great guy and a great AD. ISU is not some chicken scratch school. While we don't have a DI-A football program, a team in our conference North Dakota State that we beat didn't do too bad against KU. This guy will be a lifer at KU and will help KU navigate its football program back to a solid standing while keeping the hoops program at the pinnacle. Give Sheahon a chance and you'll see the great things he'll do for KU athletics, the students, faculty and alums. Good luck this year in March Madness. Perhaps we'll get lucky and grab a 16 seed and play you in the first round

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seagull 3 years, 3 months ago

Anyone with a coaching background moves a lot. Six years at ISU is not exactly job hopping. Commenters here are either unrealistic or nuts. We were either going to get an associate ad from a BCS school or an ad from a university like Tulsa or ISU. What exactly, on paper anyway, made Cunningham a better choice in critics' minds? The Notre Dame connection? People didn't like Perkins because he was an easterner whose style ruffled midwestern feathers. Well, we got a midwesterner with good ole midwestern values to replace him and now we aren't happy with that either. Give Zenger a chance.

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missmagoo 3 years, 3 months ago

He kind of looks like a job hopper!

Way to go BGL! (insert sarcasm here)

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twobigones 3 years, 3 months ago

GOOD OLE BOYS strike again..............may the force be with you B. Sutton.........you can run, but not hide that wide frame !

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Mr_Missive 3 years, 3 months ago

KU always hires from ISU. Budig, Frederick and now Zenger. We can't grow our own. Thank you ISU. Unfortunately KU is only big time in Bball. That's all we offer an AD.

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Mary Darst 3 years, 3 months ago

Jeez, people say some really dumb stuff on here.

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Chuck Woodling 3 years, 3 months ago

It's the second time Kansas has hired the athletic director at Illinois State. The first? The late Bob Frederick. Another coincidence — both owned doctorates in education when hired.

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edjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Can't wait for BGL to retire. Athletics won't improve until that happens.

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treyjay 3 years, 3 months ago

I am glad they printed his picture.

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seeker_of_truth 3 years, 3 months ago

But his starting date was confirmed by that dum chancellor on TEE VEE.

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years, 3 months ago

"Zenger will be officially introduced at a news conference at 1:30 p.m. Monday. He will start at KU on February 1, 2011."

J-W has jumped the gun again. I guess this newspaper will never learn in it's never ending quest to survive in a world where printed newspapers are dropping like flies.

It is not official or true until the University says so officially.

How difficult is it to understand this concept?

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edjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Nothing but a status quo hire. In other words he doesn't have to do anything great as long as he doesn't make mistakes. I wrote the Chancellor and I see she didn't agree with my philosophy. I asked her to hire someone in a large BCS Athletic Department like an associate or assistant AD who would be looking to get to the top. Hope I'm wrong about the new guy.

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edjayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Great, someone with Division 2 football experience. Not impressed. Seems like she made the hire to satisfy academia. Young guy who will brown nose in order to be popular.

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seeker_of_truth 3 years, 3 months ago

If I didn't know better, I would think there are some people around with racist tendencies.

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tophawk87 3 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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davidsmom 3 years, 3 months ago

I'm so glad you people have a crystal ball and can state with certainty that this gentleman will be no good as AD at KU. And since you are so much smarter than the chancellor and the search committee, did you offer them your advice? Because I'm sure they would have been delighted to have some qualified advice from significant constituents.

Todd Haley had never been a head coach in the NFL before the Chiefs, and look what he was able to do in just two years. Frank Martin's only head coaching job before K-State was at the high school level, and look what he's been able to do.

I know we're not talking about the hiring of a coach here, but why don't you give the guy a chance before you declare him unqualified and inept.

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kuprof54 3 years, 3 months ago

@Vinny1: you're completely correct. Who is this guy? its like he was AD for a community college or something. It's the same mistake as Gill. He may have accomplished a lot in his league, but this is a whole other league. And with the amount that we pay these people, you'd think we would have top talent. At a D1 school and with the money we pay, we should be trading talent with some of the biggest ADs in that arena - not some up and comer from a league no one's ever heard of.

For KU's sake, I hope he's great. But his hodge-podge of education and career leads me to think he's unqualified. Oh well, at least he'll fit in with the rest of the leaders on Mt. Oread - overpaid and unqualified.

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Vinny1 3 years, 3 months ago

And Benadette f's up another thing.

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seeker_of_truth 3 years, 3 months ago

Job 1, hire a FB coach, fire Gill.

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