KSU Athletic Director to step down after 23 years

After serving 23 years as Kennesaw State University athletic director, Dave Waples on Monday announced he was stepping down from the program, effective August 15.

Senior Associate Athletic Director Scott Whitlock, who is also the school’s head softball coach, was named the interim athletic director.

During his tenure, the university’s second AD spearheaded the program’s move from the NAIA to the NCAA. In 2009, he completed the program’s four-year transition into the Division-I Atlantic Sun Conference.

But it was around that time that Waples determined it was time to step down.

“Around January, I knew,” he said. “I went to lunch with Coach Whitlock and he said, ‘Coach, you’re old and you’re tired. No wonder you’re getting out.’ I was reluctant to say that at the time, because you don’t want to admit you’re old or that you’re tired. But it was time and it’s time.”

Waples said he arrived at KSU with several goals: to see KSU win a conference, a regional and a national championship and achieve Division I status.

During his tenure, he witnessed 38 Peach Belt conference titles, 26 Division II regional crowns and six national championships.

His final hope was to see football at KSU, an aim that is underway but as yet incomplete. An exploratory committee led by former Georgia coach Vince Dooley is scheduled to provide a final detailed report in early September.

With all but football in place, Waples said it was time to move on. When he discussed his departure with KSU President Daniel Papp, they decided the fall would be the most appropriate time for the transition. But it was later determined Waples will remain until June 30, 2011, when he will formally retire. Until then, he will assist with several athletics-related special projects

“With all of Dr. Waples’ goals achieved, or close to achieved, it did not come as a surprise to me when he came into my office in spring and told me it was time for someone to steer the ship and he wanted to step down as athletic director,” Papp said.