NKU President Geoffrey Mearns (left) and new interim Atheltic Director Michael Cusak.
NKU Photo/Kody Kahle
(Highland Heights, Ky.) - Northern Kentucky University is continuing its search for a new athletic director, but an interim has been named to fill the role until a person is found.
Retired Wright State University director of athletics Michael J. Cusack will become the university’s interim athletic director starting April 15, NKU President Geoffrey Mearns announced Monday.
“We are excited to welcome Mike to the NKU athletics family,” said Mearns. “His breadth and depth of experience leading a Division I program – one that successfully transitioned from Division II – will be invaluable as we continue our own reclassification.”
According to NKU, Cusack served as Wright State’s AD from 1982 through 2008. He led a period of dramatic growth and transition for Raider athletics. He managed the school's reclassification from NCAA Division II to Division I in 1987 and its move to the Mid-Continent Conference in 1990 and to the Horizon League in 1994.
Cusak also oversaw construction of the Nutter Center, the Setzer Pavillion/Mills Morgan Center training facility, the Alumni Soccer Field, Nischwitz Baseball Stadium, WSU Softball Field and the Raider Tennis Courts. In 2008, he was awarded the Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award from the Division I-AAA Athletic Directors' Association.
Cusak said he became interested in the NKU job when he learned the AD position was open.
“I hadn't really thought much about it,” he said, “but once I met with President Mearns and really saw what was happening at NKU, I became interested. The program has done so well thus far in the transition [to NCAA Division I], I thought maybe I could help in the period between athletic directors so that the forward momentum can continue.”
NKU is still conducting a national search for a new, long-term athletic director. Cusak said he doesn’t expect himself to be a candidate.
Mearns fired former athletic director Scott Eaton last month for ethics violations. The exact circumstances for Eaton’s termination have not been made public.