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Kentucky’s DeWayne Peevy named director of athletics at DePaul University

DeWayne Peevy
DeWayne Peevy, right, deputy athletics director at the University of Kentucky, talks with men's basketball head coach John Calipari. Peevy will become DePaul University’s director of athletics Sept. 1. (University of Kentucky/Mark Cornelison)
CHICAGO — DeWayne Peevy, an admired and respected leader in collegiate athletics, will serve as the next director of athletics at DePaul University, effective Sept. 1. Currently the deputy athletics director at the University of Kentucky, Peevy brings to DePaul extensive experience in all areas of collegiate athletics, with a special focus on men’s basketball.

“From the moment I met DeWayne, I knew immediately that his integrity and passion combined with his impressive collegiate athletics experience would elevate DePaul and its student-athletes to even higher levels,” said DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D. “A visionary leader who cares deeply about his community, DeWayne demonstrates the Vincentian personalism we value so much at DePaul. Jo and I look forward to welcoming DeWayne, Allison and their two children to the DePaul family.”

DeWayne Peevy
DeWayne Peevy, deputy athletics director at the University of Kentucky, will take over as DePaul University's new director of athletics on Sept. 1. (Courtesy of the University of Kentucky Athletics Department)​​
In his 12 years at Kentucky, Peevy played a prominent role with key fundraising efforts, strategic planning and media relations. He served as the liaison to the Southeastern Conference and SEC network offices, and oversaw Kentucky men’s basketball, considered the most successful NCAA Division I basketball program in history both in terms of all-time wins and winning percentage.

“DeWayne is someone I trust wholeheartedly, to the point where he became the center of our scheduling and worked hand-in-hand with me on just about everything we do. It made it so that he and I talked every day, oftentimes multiple times a day,” Kentucky men’s basketball head coach John Calipari said. “DePaul will see quickly that DeWayne is a gatherer, a listener, a consensus builder and an idea man who gathers the right people in place to execute. I can’t wait to see what happens for the athletic department at DePaul and for DeWayne personally.”

Known for his creative scheduling strategies, Peevy led the creation of the CBS Sports Classic, which started in 2014 and recently signed a three-year extension through 2022. In addition to leading the negotiations of the financial terms, he also had a primary role in selecting the teams, television network and event management company. All four schools involved — University of Kentucky, University of North Carolina, University of California, Los Angeles, and The Ohio State University — have benefited from schedule upgrades, as well as a marquee neutral site doubleheader in major cities.

“DeWayne is already a well-respected leader in college athletics as he has shown the ability to be effective in numerous areas of athletics administration,” Kentucky Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart said. “At UK, his impact will be felt for years to come, and we will be able to enjoy the memories of the successes in our program we experienced together. We’re excited for him and look forward to seeing him grow the program at DePaul.”

Donations and capital gifts at Kentucky also increased significantly under Peevy’s leadership. As supervisor of the K Fund, Kentucky’s development department, he secured gifts totaling $17 million of the $27 million raised for a new football training center, as well as $2.5 million of the $4 million for the men’s basketball practice locker room renovation project.

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto commended Peevy for always putting student-athletes first.

“DeWayne leaves UK with a lasting legacy. Without question, he helped lead our program to new heights of success in sports across our campus. But more importantly, he always put our student-athletes first, mentoring them and preparing them to lead lives of meaning and purpose, on our campus and in the broader world in which they have been called to serve,” said Capilouto. “DePaul is gaining one of the country’s finest young athletic administrators and leaders. And while he and his family will no longer be on our campus each day or on the sidelines cheering on our teams, they will always be members of the Big Blue Nation.”

As chair of Kentucky Athletics’ Diversity Advocacy Committee, Peevy strongly believes in the role that athletics can serve in providing an inclusive and diverse culture for students-athletes, as well as the entire campus. Humbled by the opportunity to serve as DePaul’s Athletic Director, he has deep respect for the university’s diverse community and mission of service.

“I am honored and humbled today to accept the position of director of athletics at DePaul,” Peevy said. “This is an opportunity that I have long dreamed of and one that I do not take lightly. DePaul is a proud and tradition-rich athletic department built on the foundation of a strong mission in a diverse urban community. My family and I are all excited and energized to join the Blue Demon family.”

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Peevy’s 23-year career in collegiate athletics began in media relations. He served as the sports information director for his alma mater, University of Montevallo in Alabama, for three years before becoming the media relations director for the Southeastern Conference Office. He also served on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four Media Coordination Committee through the 2013 NCAA Championship. He previously was the sports information director representative on the board of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Peevy received his bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from the University of Montevallo. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree at the University of Kentucky/University of Louisville Executive MBA program. He and his wife, Allison, have two children: Kaitlyn, 19, and Braden, 13.

At DePaul, Peevy will succeed Jean Lenti Ponsetto, who is retiring after an illustrious 45-year career at the university. She has served as DePaul’s athletic director for the past 18 years and announced her retirement ​in June.

“The DePaul family will not be the same without Jeanne,” Esteban said. “Throughout her impressive tenure at DePaul, she has made countless contributions to ensure our student-athletes succeed both in competition and inside the classroom. Jo and I wish her well in her much deserved retirement.”


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