Ken Kavanagh, 53, is in his fifth year as Director of Athletics at Florida Gulf Coast University. Kavanagh, the second full-time athletic director in school history, began his duties at FGCU in June of 2009.
Kavanagh, who came to FGCU after 13 years at Bradley University, was appointed to his position on May 7, 2009, by FGCU President Dr. Wilson G. Bradshaw.
In recognition of his accomplishments and as a leader in college athletics, Kavanagh has twice been named an Athletics Director of the Year by his peers, most recently during the 2013 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention in Orlando in June when he was named one of four Division I-AAA Under Armour Athletic Directors of the Year. He previously earned such distinction during his tenure as AD at Bradley University at the 2008 NACDA Convention in Dallas where he was tabbed as the Central Region Athletics Director of the Year for Division I.
Over his first four years in Southwest Florida, Kavanagh has helped FGCU reach new levels of success on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The Eagles have won a combined 11 Atlantic Sun regular-season titles, seven A-Sun Tournament titles and four consecutive Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) championships.
Also in those four years, FGCU’s student-athletes have excelled in the classroom as the 250 student-athletes achieved a record 3.29 cumulative GPA in 2012-13 (includes a best-ever 3.31 collective GPA in the Spring Semester), led by 13 teams with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. FGCU also had its first-ever D-I Academic All-American when Sarah Hansen was chosen to the women’s basketball squad. The Eagles have also have contributed more than 17,000 hours of community service the past four years as part of enhanced efforts within the department’s NCAA Life Skills initiatives.
Overall, 2012-13 was the most successful in FGCU annals, as the Eagles became the first A-Sun school in six years to capture all three of the conference’s All-Sport Trophies (Men’s, Women’s, and Combined). Five programs earned conference titles, and eight programs were represented in the postseason (seven in the NCAAs).
Athletic administration runs in Kavanagh’s bloodlines: his uncle, Kevin Kavanagh, is the former baseball coach and athletic director at Loyola College in Baltimore, planting the seed that athletic administration would be his nephew’s calling. Likewise, Ken Kavanagh’s father, John, coached a highly-successful high school summer baseball program in Connecticut for 25 years that produced former Major Leaguer Tim Teufel and NFL Hall-of-Famer Steve Young.
A native of Greenwich, Conn., Kavanagh earned his undergraduate degree from Boston College in 1982 and his postgraduate degree from Notre Dame in 1987. Kavanagh is married to the former Mary Gorenz (Maple Park, Ill.) and the couple has five children: daughters the late Megan and Rose (22), as well as sons Mitchell (20) and twins Jack and Quinn (17).
For Kavanagh’s full biography, click here.