Skyhawk Athletic Administration | Kurt McGuffin - Athletic Director

Kurt McGuffin

Kurt McGuffin was officially named the 15th University of Tennessee at Martin’s director of intercollegiate athletics on May 22, 2017. 

McGuffin brings more than 18 years of experience in the collegiate athletics forum, including nearly six years as athletics director at Missouri Western State University, an NCAA Division II school located in St. Joseph, Mo. Before leading the Griffon athletics department in 2011, he also spent time as an assistant athletics director for development at the University of Colorado (2010-11), as a senior associate athletic director for external operations at Kansas State University (2000-10) and as an assistant director of athletics for development at the University of Idaho-Moscow (1999-2000).

In his time at Missouri Western, McGuffin achieved the highest student-athlete grade point average in the history of the school while also setting an all-time high for graduation rate and community service hours. He significantly increased revenue generation to annual and endowment giving by 30 percent and he launched a capital campaign that produced five of the top 10 gifts in university history, finishing off $13 million in building enhancements in the spring of 2016. In addition, he successfully added six additional sports to bring the total to 16 while collaborating to initiate a Master’s program in Sport Business Management – which added 20 graduate assistants to his staff.

McGuffin oversaw six Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championship squads in his tenure at Missouri Western. That includes the Griffon football program winning its first ever outright MIAA championship in 2012, a year where they also made the deepest postseason run in school history into the Division II quarterfinals. The Missouri Western baseball team claimed its first-ever MIAA title in 2013, the women’s basketball team won the MIAA regular season in 2015-16 while the Griffon softball program racked up three conference championships (2014 tournament, 2016 regular season, 2016 tournament) in McGuffin’s tenure. Just this past season, the Missouri Western baseball team qualified for the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons (2016-17) for the first time in program history while the Griffon softball program made it to their fourth straight NCAA Regional. The women’s golf program also saw freshman Chong Yong advance to the NCAA Championships, becoming the first individual in school history to accomplish that feat.

McGuffin also sustained previous successful programs and experienced growth in resources across the board at Missouri Western. He hired head coaches to lead the Griffon volleyball program to its highest win total since the mid-1990’s and earning the most MIAA victories in program history in 2014. The Missouri Western tennis squad also took a new direction under McGuffin, resulting in its first winning season in more than a decade in 2014-15. The Griffon soccer program has also shattered over 20 school records while making its first ever postseason appearance in 2014 while the women’s golf program advanced to its first ever NCAA Championship berth in 2016. As a direct result, McGuffin led the Missouri Western charge into the top-100 in the Learfield Cup standings, elevating the program from its 287 ranking when he took over.

Facility improvements were also paramount in McGuffin’s success at Missouri Western. He raised nearly $8 million for a total renovation of Spratt Memorial Stadium while also helping construct a state-of-the-art women’s soccer locker room and the Zack and Mary Workman Academic Success Center in 2014.

The upgrades to Spratt Memorial Stadium were instrumental in Missouri Western remaining as the summer home of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs since 2010. McGuffin led the charge in 2014 as the Chiefs and Missouri Western announced an extension for St. Joseph as the sole training location through the 2017 season.

At Colorado, McGuffin created and implemented a new annual giving program which increased total giving by 15 percent. He added over 600 new members in the first year by establishing fundraising goals, implementing a new donor database, revamping the process of daily donations and planning special events. He also assisted with fundraising and development of a brand new $12 million sport court practice facility while taking part in a $1.5 billion university capital campaign.

In addition to his title as senior associate athletic director for external operations at Kansas State, McGuffin also served as the associate athletic director for development, the assistant athletic director for annual giving and the assistant director of athletic development in his decade in Manhattan. He completed over $25 million in facility enhancements while also leading a $90 million “Changing Lives Campaign.” He also increased annual giving by 50 percent and endowments by over 70 percent.

McGuffin was the sport administrator for the Wildcat men’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf and the men’s and women’s cross country/track and field programs. He led the development and implementation of a department-wide strategic plan while overseeing all external units (including development, ticketing, marketing and communication) responsible for a revenue of over $28 million and budgets of $12 million.

McGuffin led marketing campaigns that resulted in the largest football season-opening crowd in Kansas State history while also heading a sales group that sold out men’s basketball games in three out of four seasons. In his tenure, the Wildcat women’s basketball and volleyball programs were each in the top-10 nationally in attendance.

Before his first full-time role in athletics administration at Idaho-Moscow, McGuffin also was a graduate assistant for fundraising at Wichita State University, the director of men’s basketball operations at Eastern Washington University and the head men’s basketball student assistant at Kansas State.

McGuffin is a proud member of the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the National Association of Development Directors (NADD). He has also spent time on the NCAA Men’s Golf Ranking Committee and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee.

An Iola, Kan. native, McGuffin graduated from Kansas State with a bachelor of science degree in education in 1996. He obtained his Master of Science degree in education from Wichita State in 1999. He is married to the former Jessica Whisler of Goodland, Kan. and the couple has three children – Bryce, Brett and Brea.


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