I met Kevin Anderson the new Army (West Point) Athletic Director, this past Friday evening, March 11th, 2005 at the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley West Point Founder's Day dinner in Redwood City, CA. He was accompanying the evening's main speaker, the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, Lt. Gen. William J. Lennox Jr.

General Lennox brings the message "Go Army" to alumni, parents of cadets, business and government leaders, and all friends of West Point during the Founder's Day season which coincides with the spring break of the United States Corps of Cadets.

When I told Anderson that Shirley Babb was my cousin, he hugged me and told me of the warm love and generosity that Bert and Shirley had given him and his family while he was at Oregon State University. (Anderson was the executive associate athletic director for external affairs at Oregon State University from December 2002 to December 2004.)

Kevin (he's Kevin to me since he hugged me) then asked me point blank, "what can I do for you"? After a moment of my non-responsiveness, he said, "I want you to be my guest at a football game at West Point and to bring Bert and Shirley with you."

Alan Lubke
March 13, 2005

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Press Release from February 15, 2005

West Point Athletic Director Breaking New Ground
This Story Appeared in on ArNews on February 14 and was Written by Eric S. Bartelt
Feb. 15, 2005

WEST POINT, N.Y. (Army News Service, Feb. 14, 2005) -- New Army athletic director Kevin Anderson is the first African-American to head up an athletic department at any of the service military academies.

"I've always been fortunate to have strong, black male role models in my life, starting with my father, Ralph, and uncles," Anderson said. "My father was a sergeant in the Army and that's how he raised us and instilled education, values and caring."

The U. S. Military Academy leadership hired Anderson Dec. 13 from Oregon State after a successful stint where he helped balance the athletic department's budget for the first time in nearly 15 years.

His wealth of sports knowledge also comes from stints at the University of California - Berkeley and Stanford University athletic departments.

But his path took a different direction in mid-stream as the San Francisco native spent the first 10 years of his working life at the Xerox Corporation.

"I fell into this (sports management) half-way through my tenure at Xerox," Anderson said. "I was chosen to participate in a program to work with underprivileged young people in Oakland. I was working with kids that weren't achieving higher standards in math and science.

"Through that, I saw that if you make an investment that those kids will flourish and when I returned to Xerox it wasn't the same," Anderson added.

During that time while he was officiating football with a high school friend, federal judge Mark Jacobs, they talked about sports administration and he recommended Anderson for a job at Stanford.

He would serve four years with the San Francisco Education Fund before he applied for a job at Stanford in 1993 and has never looked back since.

Since taking over as athletic director here Jan. 18, the 1979 San Francisco State University graduate has found the transition to be seamless due to the West Point community.

"I've felt welcomed since day one, this is truly family and to be accepted into the (academy) family the way I have been -- I can't thank them enough," Anderson said. "The community is making me feel that I've always been a part of this which makes the transition easier.

"I have a sense of pride and loyalty to the academy and I will put my best foot forward because of my position and the history of this place," Anderson added.

A six-man panel went through an intense interview process to find the right man to replace former AD Rick Greenspan, who is now AD at Indiana University, and Anderson shined over seven other finalists, many of whom were West Point graduates.

"We had a strong field of applicants that included West Point graduates, career Army officers and professionals in sports administration," said U. S. Military Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. William J. Lennox Jr. "Among those talented prospects, we were looking for the right fit in terms of character, leadership, experience and vision. Kevin emerged as the best all-around candidate."

As the passionate Anderson gets used to his new environment, he wants to evaluate every aspect of the Directorate of Intercollegiate Athletics.

"Prior to joining Oregon State University, President Ed Ray came aboard and said, "I'm going to be a freshman for the first six-to-nine months, so I can take everything in," Anderson said, "I would like to think that I'm a plebe for six-to-nine months, not to say that I won't make a decision that has to be made, but I truly want to get more of a flavor of the academy and its athletic department."

The overseer of 25 Division I sports, Anderson begins his tenure here as the Army football team reverts back to independent status after seven less than spectacular seasons in Conference USA. Every Army football fan is looking forward to a more successful run under his and Bobby Ross' guidance.

"We looked at our scheduling, how we schedule and determined to play teams with a profile more like the academy," Anderson said. "We (Bobby Ross and I) talked strategy and I think we both believe we're on schedule and there's no doubt we believe that we will continue to progress.

"We will be competitive. We'll play competitive teams with our goal to make a bowl game," Anderson added. "There's no reason to believe with the success at Navy and how they've done it, that it can't be done here."

Once Anderson became a serious candidate for the job at West Point, Oregon State AD Todd Stansbury talked about Ross being the man for the job here as they worked together at Georgia Tech.

"Todd told me there's no finer man, not coach, but man, than Coach Ross," Anderson said. "There's no better man to put us back on track than Bobby Ross. I've worked with Bill Walsh, Tyrone Willingham and Jeff Tedford, all fine coaches, but I hold Coach Ross in the same light as those gentlemen if not more so."

Working with the cadet athletes and Soldiers every day is also one of the big reasons he loves the job here because it solidifies his firm belief in leadership.

"I've worked at schools that compare academically, but the leadership qualities and values that these young people have is quite amazing," Anderson said. "It's an honor and a pleasure to work with these people because it helps me further myself everyday to continue to be an effective leader and hone my leadership skills."

While settling into his job, Anderson tries to deflect the importance of his place as the first African-American AD in academy history.

The fact is there are only nine African-Americans who lead the 117 Division I-A athletic departments in the United States, and three were hired in December, which also included Daryl Gross at Syracuse University and McKinley Boston Jr. at New Mexico State, in addition to Anderson.

"I wish I could take credit for being the first, but I've been around people who've been the first all my life and haven't gotten credit for it," said the 49-year old AD. "They're the ones who allowed me to be where I am right now. In one way it's flattering, but in other ways it's saddening because I've been around these people who should have benefited from what they did, but I'm just benefiting from the fruits of their labor."

Since the days of Henry O. Flipper, who was the first African-American to graduate West Point in 1877, the academy has been a leader in its diversity and judging people on their merit more so than their ethnicity or the color of their skin, officials said.

"Civil-rights struggles in previous generations have liberated all of us, and today, minorities have more opportunities than ever," Lennox said. "The U.S. Military Academy supports equal opportunity and enjoys access to a broad spectrum of candidates, with that being said, we hired Kevin Anderson because of his background and vision, not because of his race."

Kevin Anderson
Bio from the West Point Web site


The leadership of the U.S. Military Academy named their new athletic director on Dec. 13, 2004 when USMA Superintendent Lieutenant General William J. Lennox Jr. announced the hiring of Kevin Anderson.

Anderson, who has been the executive associate athletic director for external affairs at Oregon State University since December 2002, brings a wealth of leadership to his new post, boasting more than two decades of solid experience. His selection followed a national search that produced a pool of more than 50 applicants for the NCAA Division 1 A job at Army. Anderson is expected to arrive at West Point early in 2005 to begin his new assignment. He replaces Rick Greenspan, who departed West Point in September to accept a similar position at Indiana University.

"From the time I was a small boy, I followed the Army-Navy game," Anderson said. "I love the tradition, and I love what the academy is all about - the mission of developing leaders who are not only going to lead on the field, but also lead this country after they graduate. I believe the West Point model should be applied to college athletic programs across the country - developing leaders of character, building strong minds, bodies and spirit. Those are the things that I've come to appreciate.

"I wanted this job more than any other job I've ever had," he added. "I've been a candidate for other positions, but walking on this soil on the day I had my final interview was one of the most exciting things in my life. Looking at the history, the beauty and what the academy stands for, and being able to do something at the athletic director level while representing my country means a great deal."

Army operates a 25 sport intercollegiate athletic program, highlighted by its nationally recognized football team. While Army's football program is set to return to Independent status next fall following a seven year association with Conference USA, the majority of the Black Knights' athletic programs hold membership in the Patriot League.

During his time at Oregon State, Anderson directed the athletic department's external operations, to include marketing and promotions, sports information, ticket operations and the Beaver Athletic Student Fund. He also oversaw Oregon State's highly successful football and men's basketball programs, leading the search and recruitment for OSU head football coach Mike Riley. The Beavers' football team will appear in its third consecutive postseason bowl game later this month under Riley's direction.

Anderson, who becomes the first African American to hold the position of director of athletics at the U.S. Military Academy, was a member of an OSU management staff that balanced the athletic department's budget for the first time in nearly 15 years.

"West Point is tremendously excited about the selection of Kevin Anderson to be Army's athletic director," Lennox said. "I am absolutely convinced he is the right person to build a competitive intercollegiate athletic program that represents the high standards of the institution. "Kevin brings to the Military Academy a host of experience at top flight athletic programs throughout the country," he continued. "His leadership experience will be a tremendous asset to our program."

Anderson arrived in Corvallis, Ore., after serving as executive associate athletic director for external affairs at the University of California. He joined the California staff in November 1997 as assistant athletic director for annual programs and was promoted to associate athletic director for development, tickets and the Bears' baseball team in March 1999.
At California, Anderson was responsible for overseeing all fundraising matters involving capital giving and capital projects, as well as ticketing operations. He also functioned as the primary major gift officer for the athletic department.

Under his leadership, California raised more than $5 million annually, including a record number of funds in fiscal years 2001 and 2002. Anderson also spearheaded the effort to raise money for a renovation of Cal's Memorial Football Stadium.

Before accepting his position with the Golden Bears, Anderson served as area executive director of the YMCA of the East Bay from 1995 through 1997. He was director of annual giving with the Stanford University Athletic Department from 1993 through 1995 and was responsible for raising $5 million in annual gifts.

While at Stanford, Anderson worked with the Stanford University Provost, current Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Rice echoed Army's sentiments about Anderson saying, "I have enjoyed working with Kevin, who is someone of integrity and who cares about the academic and athletic experience of the student."

Anderson served as director of development, marketing and communications of the San Francisco Education Fund from 1990 through 1993 and held the title of Northern California development director for the United Negro Fund from 1989 to 1990. He was also a manager with the Xerox Corporation from 1980 through 1989.

"I want to stress that we are going to do everything that we can to beat Navy and Air Force every year in all of our sports," said Anderson. "We want to continue to build on the progress the intercollegiate athletic program has experienced in recent years. One of my primary goals will be to continue restoring a winning tradition to the Army campus, while serving as an integral component of the leadership development process.

"We want to make sure that the cadet-athletes have the best experience possible, both on the field and off the field," he added. "I want these young people to be able to leave West Point and say that they've had a great experience. I also want the coaches, who do a tremendous job with these cadet-athletes, to feel supported and have the opportunity to teach with all the resources they need to be successful."

Anderson graduated from San Francisco State University in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in political science. He is also a 1981 graduate of the Xerox Corporation's New Manager School and the Xerox Marketing School in 1986. He completed the executive management program at the Sports Management Institute in 1995.

Kevin and his wife, Moira, have two daughters, Olivia and Michala, and a son, Kevin Jr.