University of Illinois Springfield Athletic Director Kim Pate has announced that she has accepted the position of Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina.
"Kim Pate has been an exceptional leader for UIS Athletics for the past five years. She has built a team of strong coaches and staff that will serve our student-athletes and fans well in the future and has better positioned the Prairie Stars on campus, in the community, and in the Great Lakes Valley Conference." said UIS Chancellor Susan Koch.
Pate will leave for her new position on June 1. A search for her replacement will begin immediately.
"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and the support I have received from Chancellor Koch during my time at UIS," said Pate. "Along with my team, I believe we have laid the foundation for a bright future for UIS Athletics. I am confident that the athletic program is positioned for great things given the talented group of coaches and staff, the growing support from the community, and the University's commitment to the student-athletes experience. I look forward to watching the programs take off over the next few years and I will forever be a fan of Prairie Star Athletics."
Pate has several accomplishments during her tenure at UIS, a few include:
- Developed a comprehensive external strategy resulting in over 200% growth in external revenues including the implementation of the STARS Booster Club which reached close to 500 members in only three years, the establishment of a corporate sponsorship program, establishing multiple named and endowed athletic scholarships, and major gifts to support capital facility improvements.
- Increased the overall competitiveness of the programs resulting in NCAA regional appearances, multiple inaugural GLVC tournament berths, and improvement in the conference standings.
- Led multiple capital facility improvements including the establishment of a new baseball field on campus, development of a golf driving range and cross country course on campus, renovations to the softball field and tennis courts.
- Led a brand strategy initiative resulting in the development of a new athletics logo and brand standards, revised athletics website, the implementation of Orion as the new athletics mascot, and implementation of new marketing and promotional strategies to enhance the game day experience and fan engagement.
- Implemented an academic success program which included a new full-time Director of Academic Support Services funded through an NCAA grant resulting in a significant increase to the average G.P.A. of student-athletes increasing from a 3.06 in fall 2011 to a 3.26 in fall 2015. This past fall 67% of the student-athlete population earned a 3.0 or better and all but one program earned a team GPA average of 3.0 or higher.
- Developed an athletics facility master plan in consideration of future athletic facility needs and priorities necessary for strategic planning.
UIS has 16 athletic programs and is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference in NCAA Division II. It was recently announced that 150 out of 223 student-athletes and cheerleaders achieved at least a 3.0 GPA. At 67 percent, that set a new mark for UIS athletics.