Landing NSU job a ‘dream come true’ for new AD Bostian

New Northwestern State Director of Athletics Kevin Bostian addresses the crowd at Thursday’s...
New Northwestern State Director of Athletics Kevin Bostian addresses the crowd at Thursday’s news conference.(Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services)
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 9:48 PM CST
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - As he looked to his future and that of the Northwestern State athletic department, Kevin Bostian pulled from his past.

“As many of you know, I’m an NC State alum, and Jim Valvano was a famed basketball coach there, who is probably known better for his ESPYs speech that he gave when he was battling cancer,” said Bostian, who was introduced as NSU’s new director of athletics Thursday morning at a news conference inside the Friedman Student Union ballroom.

“He said in one of the quotes from that speech, ‘We should all do three things every day: No. 1 is to laugh, No. 2 is to think and No. 3 is to have our emotions moved to tears. If we do all three of those things, we’ve had a heck of a day.’ If we all work together to provide our student-athletes the necessary resources to earn their degree, the opportunity to win a championship and develop them as leaders, we’ve had a heck of a four or five years. It’s my goal as athletic director to work with our staff and university, and we will commit to do that here at Northwestern State.”

A native of Durham, North Carolina, Bostian quickly ingratiated himself to his new university and hometown, correctly pronouncing Natchitoches and praising the local staple of meat pies while outlining the tenets he said he feels strongly will produce success for Northwestern State’s 14 athletic programs.

“The athletic program is here to advance the mission of our institution,” Bostian said. “We are the front porch of the university, and I have some core values that will help us create a successful athletic department. Those are academic excellence – each and every student-athlete will achieve academic success to the best of their ability under our watchful guidance. Student-athlete welfare – we are here because of our student-athletes. Take care of them. Social responsibility: We must always conduct ourselves within the governing rules and show respect to the university and others when dealing with the external community and campus personnel. We are committed to diversity, equality and inclusion. Integrity: We must always do right and do what is right. University integration: We will have a true partnership and strong collaboration and be an active member within the university community. And last but not least, competitive excellence – we will compete not only within the Southland Conference but regionally and nationally.”

The 43-year-old Bostian emerged from a group of more than 80 candidates to become just NSU’s fifth director of athletics since 1973.

His most recent stint at UNC Greensboro as the executive associate athletic director for external operations also included a three-month window as interim athletic director, further preparing him for his new position, which begins in earnest Feb. 7.

“It was a careful and comprehensive process to assess and evaluate those who were considered for the position,” said Northwestern State President Dr. Marcus Jones. “The consultant (Kyle Bowlsby of Bowlsby Sports Advisors) told us this week he had never spoken with as many alumni and internal and external stakeholders in a national search as he did in pursuit of our new athletic director. That process ensured Northwestern would emerge with a highly qualified athletic director who would be a great fit for the university and community. I am confident we found that in Kevin Bostian, who has the credentials, experience and capabilities to guide Northwestern athletics to unprecedented success in the years ahead.”

Bostian’s career path began at South Alabama in 2002, and he has spent all but 13 months since then in collegiate athletic administration. He has made stops at East Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech, Georgia Southern, North Carolina State and UNCG, climbing the ladder before landing the position he long had chased and cherished.

“This is a dream come true for me,” he said while seven of his family members sat in the front row of the bustling crowd. “I’ve wanted to do this since I was 16 years old. I finally got here. I want to thank Dr. Jones, Jerry Pierce and the search committee for giving me the opportunity. I’m extremely honored and blessed to be the director of athletics here at Northwestern State University.”

Bostian took time to thank his support system – wife Megan, daughters Ayla, Zoe and Piper and his parents Patti and Mike – all of whom were in attendance Thursday morning.

“Megan, you’ve been with me the whole time as we’ve moved from town to town, school to school, as we worked our way up through this,” Bostian said. “You’ve always been there, always been the rock for us. This job isn’t 9 to 5. It’s not Monday through Friday. It’s a lifestyle. Thank you for being a part of it. Girls, I’m excited for this new opportunity. I’m sure you’re all going to do well here. I’m proud of each one of you.

“Mom and dad, you instilled in me at a young age core values to reach where I am, to reach for the stars and never give up. Thank you for that.”

Driven by student-athletes whom he called his “reason for working in college athletics,” Bostian – along with Jones – thanked his predecessor.

“I want to thank Greg Burke for what he did as the AD here for 25 years,” Bostian said. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention his hard work and dedication to this institution. He did an unbelievable job. He laid the foundation here to where it’s something I can help build on and move forward.”

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