Our Role as a “Faith Coach & Mentor”

Ken Kavanagh is his seventh 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 following 13 years at Bradley University.

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 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 six years in Southwest Florida, Ken has helped FGCU reach new levels of success on the field, in the classroom and in the community, while overseeing record fundraising and attendance thresholds for the Green & Blue. The Eagles have won a combined 21 Atlantic Sun regular-season titles, 12 A-Sun Tournament titles and five Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) championships. 

Under Kavanagh’s guidance, in just four years of Division-I postseason eligibility, FGCU has sent 12 teams to the NCAA Tournament, while men’s golf (2012, 2013, 2015), women’s swimming (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) and men’s tennis (2014) have had individuals participate in their respective NCAA Championship, bringing the total NCAA appearances for FGCU to an astonishing 20 since 2011-12.

In Kavanagh’s six years, FGCU’s student-athletes have excelled in the classroom as the 250 student-athletes achieved a record 3.33 cumulative GPA in the Fall of 2013 (including a best-tying 3.31 collective GPA that semester) and Spring of 2015 – which saw 70 percent of the student-athletes achieve a 3.0 GPA for the 2014-15 academic year. Out of FGCU’s 15 Division I programs, 13 of them achieved at least a 3.0 team GPA in one of the two semesters, with eleven programs achieving the feat in both semesters.  In the spring of 2015, FGCU student-athletes posted a 3.28 GPA – the 12th consecutive semester that student-athletes have posted a GPA higher than that of the overall student body (3.05).  FGCU also had its first-ever D-I Academic All-American when Sarah Hansen was chosen to the women’s basketball squad in 2012-13. From a team standpoint in 2014-15, Women’s Golf led the way finishing second in the nation in with their 3.77 cumulative GPA (they were 4th in 2013-14) and Women’s Basketball (3.55) finished ninth (they were 11th in 2013-14 and 4th in 2012-13).  The Eagles have also have contributed more than 30,000 hours of community service the past six years as part of enhanced efforts within the department’s NCAA Life Skills initiatives and have recently initiated the Wings Up Leadership Academy for FGCU student-athletes.