SALINA, Kan. – Kansas Wesleyan announced Monday morning that Miguel Paredes has been named the university’s newest director of athletics.
Paredes comes to KWU from Stephens College, a fellow NAIA institution in Columbia, Mo., where he has spent three-plus years as athletic director. All told, he possesses nearly 13 years of higher education experience, including administration, coaching, fundraising, academic advising and student life at five different universities.
He will begin his duties in early January.
“It is an incredible honor to accept this position,” said Paredes. “I am grateful to President Matt Thompson and Ken Oliver, as well as the rest of the search committee, for the opportunity to lead this athletic department. It is filled with dedicated student-athletes, coaches and staff and has a storied tradition and great expectations. There is tremendous pride in the purple and gold, and we will work extremely hard to make our alumni, donors, community and university even more proud.”
While at Stephens, Paredes improved the student-athlete retention rate by nearly 14%. Athletic revenue jumped by 25% under his watch, and the overall student-athlete enrollment count leapt by 35%. He secured important agreements with BSN and Nike, as well as a partnership with the Show-Me-Sports network that facilitated the college’s play-by-play broadcasts.
“We are pleased to welcome Miguel and his family to Kansas Wesleyan,” said Dr. Matt Thompson, KWU president. “The quality of his experience and his passion for the whole student-athlete stood out during this national search. He will be a great leader for our athletic department and will help guide us to new, greater heights.”
“I have worked alongside Miguel at multiple institutions and observed his professional growth first-hand,” said Ken Oliver, KWU’s executive vice president of advancement and university operations. “His experience runs the gamut, and his commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion makes him a great addition to our administrative team. I have confidence that he will lead KWU athletics into its next great chapter of success, all while furthering a culture that puts the academic experience first.”
Paredes spent two years as assistant director of athletics for academic outreach at Texas A&M-Kingsville, an NCAA Division II institution. There, he served as an academic coordinator for all athletic programs, assisted with event management, acted as CHAMPS/life skills coordinator and chaired the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). Paredes helped the university win three notable Lone Star Conference honors, the SAAC Cup, the Award of Excellence and the Community Engagement Award.
The new AD also worked at Westminster College (NCAA Division III), Central Methodist University (NAIA) and Graceland University. In 14 years of coaching (including high schools), he has led teams to a pair of national championship appearances, two conference titles and numerous other accolades, including more than 100 all-conference or academic-related awards.
Paredes, who is bilingual, holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health from Graceland University and a Master of Education degree from Central Methodist. He and his wife, Kea, have two daughters.
ABOUT KWU: Kansas Wesleyan University is a private, nonprofit four-year college located in Salina, Kan., and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Its mission is to promote and integrate academic excellence, spiritual development, personal well-being and social responsibility. KWU provides an educational program characterized by excellence, within a caring community, rooted in the liberal arts tradition, that includes 16 academic departments and a wide range of majors. More than 98 percent of graduates from the past three years are in jobs or graduate school within six months of graduation. KWU’s music program and debate teams have been especially successful, with debaters winning more than 65 national championships and graduates of the music program securing positions all over the U.S. Multiple athletic teams have advanced to national tournaments in recent years, and last year, the athletic department’s cumulative GPA was greater than 3.0. For more information, visit www.kwu.edu.