DePaul interviews DeWayne Peevy for athletic director job


Photo courtesy of A Sea of Blue

Kentucky deputy director of athletics DeWayne Peevy.

Kentucky deputy director of athletics DeWayne Peevy has interviewed for DePaul’s athletic director opening, a source confirmed to The DePaulia on Friday. 

Kyle Tucker of The Athletic was the first person to report on Wednesday that Peevy has spoken to DePaul about the job.

DePaul is currently in the process of finding a new athletic director after Jean Lenti Ponsetto announced on June 5 that she is retiring this summer. Peevy was a finalist for the same role in 2015 at UCF.

As the deputy director of athletics, Peevy helps Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart with strategic planning, key fundraising and public initiatives as a member of the executive staff. 

Peevy, who has now been at Kentucky for 12 years, also works closely with the men’s basketball program and head coach John Calipari. 

In July, Peevy was named as one of the “behind-the-scenes power players” in the SEC. 

Peevy also has experience working in the Southeastern Conference for eight years, serving as the day-to-day publicity of SEC men’s basketball. A graduate of the University of Montevallo, Peevy was on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four Media Coordination Committee through the 2013 NCAA Championship.

The Wildcats have had one of the most successful men’s basketball teams in the country under Calipari, winning the SEC regular season title six times and making the NCAA Tournament nine times. Calipari also guided Kentucky to the NCAA Tournament title in 2012

DePaul, on the other hand, has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2004, the Blue Demons’ only appearance in Lenti Ponsetto’s 18-year tenure as the athletic director. Lenti Ponsetto has hired three different men’s basketball coaches, Jerry Wainwright, Oliver Purnell and Dave Leitao, but none of them have been able to revive the program. 

Northwestern’s Mike Polisky and Loyola’s Steve Watson are also two candidates that DePaul is looking to interview, according to a source. Watson told The DePaulia that he is not a candidate for the job at DePaul. 

“I am not a candidate for the athletics director position at DePaul University,” Watson told The DePaulia. “I have a great situation at Loyola and am fully committed to preparing for the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.”

Polisky serves as Northwestern’s deputy director of athletics, joining the athletic department back in 2010. He is responsible for the athletic department’s ticket sales and service, marketing, corporate sponsorship, media & public relations, creative services, community relations, fan experience and merchandising teams.

Watson, however, is the current athletic director at Loyola University. After Watson was hired in 2014, the Ramblers have seen multiple programs make the NCAA Tournament — including the men’s basketball team making a run to the NCAA Final Four in 2018. 

In June, DePaul announced that they hope to hire a new athletic director by the start of September, while conducting a national search. DePaul also created a search committee and hired DHR International  — Glenn Sugiyama, managing partner and global sports practice leader — to help find candidates for the job. 

The search committee will be led by DePaul’s chief of staff Steve Stoute, and consists of six other members from the university. 

The other members include Dan Allen, vice president of advancement; Ron Caltabiano, dean of the School of Music; Avarie Evans-Allen, student-athlete; Ani Frank, associate professor in the College of Education and chair of the University Athletic Board; Kate O’Brien, associate athletic director for Academic Advising; and Liz Ortiz, vice president for the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity. 

Lenti Ponsetto also announced that she is currently in treatment for breast cancer as one of the reasons why she is retiring. 

“The changing times over these past few months has led me to this decision,” Lenti Ponsetto said on June 5. “Having successfully battled two breast cancer diagnoses and currently in treatment for a third, I thought it was time to step away from the long days, working every weekend and the 24/7 demands that being an athletic director requires.”

Update (August 8, 2020): This story has been updated with a statement from Loyola athletic director Steve Watson.