Hollingsworth named Mid-South Athletic Director of the Year

Hollingsworth named Mid-South Athletic Director of the Year

June 2, 2010

For Immediate Release

By Chris Megginson, sports information director

Campbellsville University Athletic Director Rusty Hollingsworth was named the 2009-10 Mid-South Conference Athletic Director of the Year at the MSC annual meeting Wednesday. The award is selected by a vote of athletic directors in the conference.

Rusty Hollingsworth, right, receives the MSC President's Cup from University of the Cumberlands AD Randy Vernon.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by your peers, and not only for me but this is an honor for all of the coaches and student-athletes. They’re the ones that perform and get the job done. I just have the role of administering all of that. It’s what I love to do,” said Hollingsworth who oversees the 21-team CU athletic department.

In his ninth season at the helm of the Campbellsville Athletic Department, Hollingsworth helped guide CU to its first MSC President’s Cup thanks to the Tigers’ seven MSC regular season championships.

On a national level, Campbellsville qualified student-athletes in 13 sports for a national tournament in either the NAIA or National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) level. Three of those sports brought home national championships, raising Campbellsville’s national championship count to eight (five under Hollingsworth’s watch).

CU captured its second NAIA individual title in men’s wrestling, its second NCCAA individual title for men’s outdoor track & field and its first-ever team championship in NCCAA Division I volleyball. Campbellsville also had four teams ranked nationally in the Top 10 in NAIA polls at one point in the season.

“We’ve had individual sports in select years do very well and go deep in the national tournament, but from all sports, their finishes in the conference, the number of teams appearing in national tournaments, this has been a great year,” said, Hollingsworth, who said this may be the best overall year of his nine at CU.

Off the court, Campbellsville student-athletes are now among the top in the Mid-South Conference, being recognized for academics and character. CU comprised nearly 20 percent of all Academic All-Conference selections awarded in 2009-2010. Eighty student-athletes of a sophomore standing or higher posted a grade point average of 3.25 or better. The CU wrestling team was also honored academically as the NAIA All-Academic Team of the year.

CU, a NAIA Champion of Character Institution, also had five student-athletics named a MSC Champion of Character, while the Lady Tiger basketball team was named the NAIA National Champion of Character Team.

“This is wonderful news,” CU President Dr. Michael V. Carter said of the honor. “He is a very hard worker and strives for fairness in all situations. He is comprehensive in his approach to solving problems and he puts the welfare of the student-athlete first. I am pleased for him that his peers have seen his commitment to the Mid-South Conference.”

Behind the scenes, Hollingsworth has worked to grow the number of staff in the CU athletic department and improve facilities. In September 2009, he helped launch a $1.2 million facility upgrade project titled “More Than a Game,” which has brought lights to the football and baseball stadiums, resurfaced the football practice field and will bring synthetic turf to the football stadium.

With the help of CU supporters, Tiger athletics has welcomed to campus “We Are Marshall” football coach Jack Lengyel, Country Music legend Vince Gill and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus to help raise funds for the project. The school also served as host of the 2010 MSC Baseball Championship.

Outgoing MSC Commissioner Mike Polio presented Hollingsworth with the award at the MSC annual meetings Wednesday at the University of the Cumberlands. He also received the honor in 2004.

“We have great ADs and to be able to be named the best AD of this group is a great honor. It’s voted on by his peers, and I feel this is something he should really be proud of,” Polio said.

In addition to his work at CU, Hollingsworth also serves on numerous NAIA oversight committees.          

He and his wife, Beth, reside just outside Campbellsville with their children: Ben, Will and Madeline.