Kansas Director of Athletics Lew Perkins Inducted into New England Basketball Hall of Fame

Oct. 9, 2009

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Kansas Director of Athletics Lew Perkins was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame Friday at a ceremony in Uncasville, Conn.

Perkins is part of the fifth class to be inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and was formally inducted for his exploits as a basketball standout at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, Mass. Perkins went on to play collegiately at the University of Iowa and has 41 years’ experience in college athletics.

Perkins came to Kansas in June 2003, and is one of the most respected athletics directors in the country. In the summer of 2008 Perkins topped the public voting in TIME Magazine’s online poll of the best sports executives in the world. He was the only college sports administrator to make TIME’s list of 35 individuals, which includes team owners, team managers, league commissioners and other executives from around the world.

Kansas Athletics has experienced tremendous growth and success during Perkins’ tenure. Student-athletes have excelled in athletic programs in conference and national play, bringing home conference titles, bowl victories and national championships under Perkins’ leadership. Success can also be found in the classroom, with student-athletes consistently setting records for academic excellence.

Kansas Athletics fundraising has reached unprecedented levels, resulting in greater services for student-athletes, coaches and numerous upgrades in KU’s athletics facilities. Under Perkins, Kansas Athletics’ $27-million budget has grown to more than $55 million.

Prior to KU, Perkins was the Director of Athletics at the University of Connecticut from 1990-2003. Like his current stint at Kansas, Perkins was instrumental in guiding UConn athletics to impressive growth – athletically, academically and financially. His leadership influenced six NCAA Division I National Championships.

He was rewarded in 2000 as the inaugural winner of the National Athletic Director of the Year Award as selected by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal, in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

Perkins was inducted into the Chelsea High School Hall of Fame in 1989. A highly recruited basketball player, he played at Iowa (1965-67) for Hall of Fame coach and KU graduate Ralph Miller. Perkins earned his undergraduate degree there in 1967.

Perkins served as Director of Athletics (1969-80) and head basketball coach (1969-79) at the University of South Carolina Aiken as that institution grew from a junior college to a four-year institution. He received his master’s degree in education (1975) from the University of South Carolina. Perkins delivered the commencement address and received an honorary Doctor of Education degree at USC Aiken in May 2005. Perkins also has served as athletics director at the University of Maryland and Wichita State University, and as associate director of athletics at the University of Pennsylvania.

The New England Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony has become one of the largest sports dinners in America, attracting more than 1,000 attendees at each of the previous four gatherings.