New Director of Athletics appointed

Chris Kingston

Chris Kingston

Zach Knapp and Zach Knapp

Chris Kingston has been announced as the new athletics director at the University.

Kingston signed a five-year contract with a base salary of $245,000 per year. He will actively start as the athletic director on July 15.

The decision to hire Kingston came after Greg Christopher, former athletics director,resigned from the position and accepted a job as the athletics director for Xavier University.

During a press conference on June 10, President Mary Ellen Mazey made it clear why Kingston was the right person for the job.

“Chris Kingston is a results oriented senior leader with experience in both operational, strategic planning, analysis and execution,” Mazey said. “He knows how to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. He has a proven ability to organize, motivate, team building a diverse workforce to achieve high expectations under challenging conditions.”

Prior to taking the position as athletic director, Kingston worked as North Carolina State University’s executive senior associate director of athletics. He spent four years as the associate director of athletics for operations. He was also the special assistant to the director of athletic/director of annual giving for the U.S. Military Academy.

Kingston served in the U.S. Army’s Military Intelligence Corps as a second lieutenant until his retirement in 2009, according to a press release from the official website of Bowling Green Athletics.

It was not Kingston’s past, but ultimately his future plans at the University that impressed the University’s search committee responsible for choosing him for the position, Sheri Stoll, chief financial officer for the University, said.

“He came in to meet with the search committee extremely prepared and he clearly did exhaustive research on [the University],” Stoll said. “We were all impressed by his interest and enthusiasm for the University.”

Increasing fundraising will have to be a priority for Kingston, Jason Knavel, assistant athletics director for athletic communications, said.

“Our budget for athletics is in the bottom third of the MAC,” Knavel said. “We need new streams of revenue and increase current sources of revenue.”

Budget concerns were addressed by Kingston at the press conference.

“Specifically in athletics, our goal will be to reach the average operating budget in the Mid-American Conference,” Kingston said. “Given our high caliber student athletes, our facilities, our quality staff and coaches and our geographical location in the MAC, we will over achieve by reaching the average operating budget in the MAC.”

Making use of existing and new partnerships is key to increasing the budget, Kingston said.

“I can tell you from experience, it is a formula that works,’ Kingston said.

The University’s athletics program had an overall successful year, despite the low budget. 14 of the 18 teams improved or finished in the same place as last year in the MAC conference standings in the 2013-2014 season. Seven teams were placed in the top half of the league standings and two teams (volleyball and baseball) won the MAC tournament, according to a press release from the official website of Bowling Green Athletics.

Capitalizing on a athletic department with potential influenced Kingston’s decision to take the job.

“There are bad jobs out there,” Kingston said. “There are places that don’t have money and are not going to get money–and have no way of getting money. There are places that do not have facilities and have no shot of getting facilities. I am going to tell you, that is not the case here. We are cresting the hill here at [the University].”