Committed to the growth and development of the nearly 500 student-athletes on the University of Kentucky campus, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart has tabbed Jason Cummins as Executive Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Experience.
Joining UK’s staff, Cummins will be tasked with guiding UK Athletics’ efforts in the areas of academics and student-athlete experience. Cummins moves into a full-time role after working closely with UK Athletics as Director of Impact Leadership since June 2013.
“We are excited Jason is joining our staff in this new capacity after he had such positive effect on our student-athletes, teams, coaches and staff in his previous role,” Barnhart said. “We owe it to our student-athletes to be innovative in the way we support their growth and we will continue to invest in them, which is exactly what we are doing by placing a renewed emphasis on their experience.”
UK has long been a trendsetter in the academic support of student-athletes, becoming the first university in America with an academic center dedicated to student-athletes in 1981. Since that time, the Center for Academic and Tutorial Services (CATS) has provided support to thousands of graduates and helped guide UK student-athletes to a cumulative grade-point average of better than 3.0 in 12 straight semesters, all while UK has incurred no penalties in the history of the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate measure.
Associate Athletics Director Bob Bradley has successfully led UK’s academic support efforts and will retire this summer. Cummins will work to build on that legacy by delivering world-class academic support services and maintaining the UK Athletics’ academic integrity.
Additionally, UK is renewing its commitment to prepare student-athletes to enter life after UK by equipping them with the requisite professional skills and helping them identify and pursue internship and work opportunities. UK will apply the same focus on the holistic development of leaders at all levels Cummins brought as Director of Impact Leadership to its community engagement and professional development initiatives.
“We have a responsibility to develop our student-athletes as students, players and leaders, as well as leaders across the entire department,” Cummins said. “This is a shared responsibility that spans not only our athletics department, but also our campus and our community. I have witnessed firsthand the university’s commitment to this endeavor, and I am excited to join an amazing team. We will partner with our students, coaches, and staff in a deliberate process to maximize their growth – intellectually, physically and personally.”
These two areas will work in concert with UK Athletics’ athletic performance efforts in the areas of strength and conditioning, nutrition, athletic training, sports medicine and psychology, led by Executive Associate Athletics Director for Administration and Performance Marc Hill.
Cummins comes to Kentucky on a full-time basis after five years with Horizon Performance, where he served as Director of Athletics Operations. In that role he led the expansion of Horizon Performance into college athletics, establishing relationships with five athletics departments – including Kentucky – and the Southeastern Conference league office. During that time, he has been embedded at UK, partnering with coaches and administrators to build an innovative and individually tailored leadership program.
Cummins also served a 20-year career in the United States Army as an Apache helicopter pilot, including two years in the United States Military Academy’s Department of Social Sciences as an Associate Professor of Economics, as well as combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jason attended the University of Kentucky and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, where he obtained his MBA in Finance and Public Policy. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife and two sons.
‑ GO CATS –
For more information contact: