Northern Kentucky University names interim athletic director

Michael Cusack led growth at Wright State

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - Northern Kentucky University has appointed Michael J. Cusack, retired Wright State University director of athletics, to serve as interim athletic director, effective April 15.

Cusack will replace Scott Eaton, who was terminated for ethics violation on March 18, the university said.

As Wright State AD for 27 years (1982-2008), Cusack led the Raiders program through a period of dramatic growth and transition, He managed the school's reclassification from NCAA Division II to Division I in 1987 and its move to the Mid-Continent Conference in 1990 and to the Horizon League in 1994. He also oversaw construction of the Nutter Center as well as its training facility, baseball stadium, soccer and softball fields and tennis courts.

"We are excited to welcome Mike to the NKU athletics family," said President Geoffrey S. Mearns. "His breadth and depth of experience leading a Division I program – one that successfully transitioned from Division II – will be invaluable as we continue our own reclassification."

Cusack, who retired from his Wright State post in 2008, said he doesn't expect to be a candidate for the permanent NKU position. "There are going to be some very, very good candidates for this job," he said. "This is a very good job."

On March 18, Mearns wrote a letter to the university's board of regents informing them of Eaton's immediate dismissal for "his failure to comply with the University's Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct." The university has not released any details of the violations.

Read the story about Eaton's firing at

NKU Vice President for University Advancement Gerard St. Amand will continue to serve as acting athletic director until Cusack arrives.

A native of Levittown, N.Y., Cusack earned a Bachelor of Science in physical education from Long Island University in 1964 and a Master of Science in physical education from Queens College in 1969. In 1980, he earned an Ed.D. from New York University in administration of physical education and athletics.

Cusack spent nine years at Queens College as a member of the physical educational faculty. He served as head baseball coach, assistant basketball coach and assistant athletic director. He then spent four years as athletics director and head baseball coach at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa.

Since his retirement in 2008, Cusack has taught in the WSU Student Affairs in Higher Education program and helped build the university's Sports Management Graduate Certificate Program.

He and his wife, Dorothy, reside in Beavercreek, Ohio, and have five children and 10 grandchildren.


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