Mike Cusack Recipient of the 2008 Division I-AAA ADA Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award|
May 19, 2008
Cleveland, Ohio - Mike Cusack, director of athletics at Wright State University, was selected as the recipient of the 2008 Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA), today.
The award will be presented during the Division I-AAA ADA Meeting at the NACDA Convention in Dallas on Tuesday, June 10. It is the highest award presented by the association.
"Our Association is proud to present Mike Cusack with the fourth annual Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award," stated Ken Kavanagh, 2007-08 Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award Committee chair and director of athletics at Bradley University. "Mike will be missed when he officially retires on June 30, after serving 26 years at the helm of the Raiders."
Cusack took over the athletics department in April 1982, becoming just the second director for WSU athletics since the start of intercollegiate athletics at the University. He replaced Don Mohr, who started the program and retired in 1982.
Since his arrival, Cusack has been at the forefront of change in Raider athletics, including the change to Division I in 1987, the building of the Nutter Center in 1990 and the construction of the Setzer Pavilion/Mills-Morgan Center in 2005. He also began the Athletics Director's Club, Captain's Club, which is now the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the LifeSKILLS program and the Hall of Fame.
On March 25, Cusack announced that he would retire from his athletics director post effective June 30, 2008, after serving as the athletics director for 26 years. Beginning September 1, 2008, Cusack will have a new role at the University, working to develop a new sports management certificate program. He will also teach in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program in the College of Education and Human Services. Additionally, Cusack will fund raise in conjunction with the athletics department for future projects.
During his tenure, Raiders athletics saw five teams advance to NCAA Tournament play (men's basketball, baseball, women's soccer, golf and softball). Overall, the Raiders have won 37 conference titles and have posted an overall cumulative grade point average better than 3.0 over the past 24 quarters.
Prior to Wright State, Cusack spent four years as director of athletics and head baseball coach at Mercyhurst College.
Members of the Gary Cunningham Lifetime Achievement Award Committee include Division I-AAA athletics directors: Ken Kavanagh, committee chair, Bradley; Ken Bothof, Wisconsin Green Bay; Tom Hickman, Winthrop; Lynn King, Pacific; Ed McLaughlin, Niagara; Stan Morrison, California Riverside; Judy Rose, North Carolina Charlotte; Mike Roth, Gonzaga; Joel Thirer, Binghamton; and Lynn Hickey, Texas San Antonio.
About Division I-AAA ADA: Now in its seventh year, the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance initiatives common to its Division I-AAA membership (those Division I institutions that do not sponsor football), in particular, aspects related to their flagship basketball programs. The Association is administered by NACDA, now in its 43rd year, is the professional and educational association for more than 6,100 college athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 2,000 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. Additionally, NACDA administers 11 professional associations for the separate business units that report directly to the athletics director.