UNK– University of Nebraska-Kearney Athletic Director Mike Sumpter has accepted a Division IAA Athletic Director position at Southern Utah University. Located in Cedar City, Utah, Sumpter’s appointment is effective August 1.
“It is with deep regret that I have accepted Mike Sumpter’s resignation as Director of Athletics,” said Chancellor Gladys Styles Johnston. “We did everything humanly possible to convince him to change his mind. We have sincerely appreciated his contributions to the continued advancement of our many intercollegiate athletic programs at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.”
Mike Sumpter joined UNK as athletic director in July 1998. Under his guidance, UNK extended its tradition as one of the top Division II athletic programs in the nation. UNK has won two of their five consecutive Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference All-Sports Trophies under Mike’s tenure. UNK is also a perennial top 20 finisher in the Sears Directors Cup program. Academically, UNK’s student-athletes have consistently maintained a cumulative GPA over 3.0 and have earned numerous conference and national academic awards.
“We’re definitely going to miss Mike Sumpter,” said Loper Athletic Club President Jim Armagost. “For the short time Mike was here, he made great strides in Division II athletics. Mike has done a terrific job with limited resources and he will be difficult to replace. The momentum of the Loper booster club was certainly building–I felt we were turning the corner.”
Chancellor Johnston added, “Mike’s vision for and commitment to our athletic programs have earned him the respect of the entire University of Nebraska community. I join my colleagues in extending my best wishes to him as he prepares for his new endeavors at Southern Utah University.”
Sumpter responded, “This was the most difficult decision I have had to make in my professional career. In the final analysis, though, I was compelled to do what I felt was best for my family. I will miss the community, the athletic staff, and most importantly the coaches.”
Sumpter added, “Kriste and I will do our best to maintain the many great relationships that we had the good fortune to begin here in Kearney and will take many fond memories of the community with us. Kearney is a place we won’t ever say goodbye to.”
Southern Utah University is part of the Mid-Continent Athletic Conference. The search for a new athletic director will begin immediately.