Lenoir-Rhyne University officials announced today that they have selected Kimberly Pate as the new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Pate brings a wealth of experience to LRU, having served as Athletic Director at two Division II institutions and on multiple national committees of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
“We are extremely excited to bring someone of Kim Pate’s experience and vision to LR,” said Wayne B. Powell, University President. “She is the right person at the right time to build on the legacy of Neill McGeachy in taking LR to a position of national prominence.” McGeachy served as Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics as well as Executive Director of the Piedmont Educational Foundation/Bears Club. Earlier this year, he announced his plans to retire in late spring, following over 14 years of service.
Since 2011, Pate has served as Director of Athletics at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she was responsible for the administration and oversight of a sixteen sport NCAA DII intercollegiate athletics program in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Prior to that, she worked at Brevard College in Brevard, North Carolina for over eight years (2003-2011). In 2006, she accepted the position of Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance & Business and, just a year later, was promoted to Director of Athletics. She led the eighteen sports NCAA DII intercollegiate athletic program in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) for over five years.
During her two tenures, Pate led a number of exciting initiatives including transitioning Brevard College from NAIA to NCAA DII status, implementing multiple new sports programs including football, establishing a new 500-member booster club while more than doubling fundraising contributions, as well as leading multiple capital facility improvements including the development of a new baseball facility, golf driving range, and numerous other facility renovations. While at Brevard, Pate also gained collegiate coaching experience serving as the assistant softball coach for three years. She helped lead the team to a program record winning season of 28 – 22, during her first year of coaching.
Pate’s experience also includes over six years of active involvement on numerous national athletic committees and organizations. She has served as a representative on the NCAA DII Legislative Committee, Chair of the NCAA DII Interpretation Subcommittee, Vice Chair of the NCAA DII Membership Committee as well as a member of both the NCAA Diversity & Inclusion Fellows Design Team and the SAC Conference Strategic Planning Committee to name just a few.
She is also a member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), DII Athletic Directors Association (DII ADA), National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), and the Illinois Women in Leadership. In 2015, she was recognized by the Springfield Business Journal as a Woman of Influence Honoree.
Pate received her Master in Business Administration from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. Her undergraduate studies were completed at Brevard, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Business and Organizational Leadership, graduating Summa cum Laude.
“Throughout my career, my goal has remained to provide an enriched student-athlete experience that will inspire, empower, and develop student-athletes to achieve their full potential in all aspects of their lives,” Pate stated. “I am thrilled to be able to continue that commitment here at Lenoir-Rhyne and look forward to being a part of such an exceptional athletic program, University and community.” Pate expressed her admiration and positive outlook of the LR program. “I strongly believe that LR is positioned to be a perennial powerhouse in Division II and compete on the national scale year-in and year-out. I will look to build on the success and solid foundation in place and inspire a bold strategic direction for the future to advance the LR Bears to new heights,” she said.
“Kimberly has articulated a strong vision for continuing to bring Lenoir-Rhyne to national prominence in athletics while enhancing our commitment to the true concept of a student-athlete,” Dr. Powell added. “We welcome her to Lenoir-Rhyne and look forward to what her leadership will bring to our athletic program.” According to Dr. Powell, Pate was selected from over 100 candidates who applied for the position.