"I am thrilled to join the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Trustees," Perkins said. "The game of basketball has made a tremendous impact on my life. I now have a great opportunity to give back to the game I love. It means even more to me now that I'm at Kansas, where Dr. Naismith coached and began the great legacy that is Kansas basketball."
Perkins has served as director of athletics at Kansas since June 2003. He arrived at KU after achieving nationally recognized success as athletics director at the University of Connecticut.
Kansas athletics has experienced tremendous growth and success during Perkins' short tenure. The football team participated in a bowl game (2003) for the first time since 1995; the men's basketball team reached the Elite Eight of the 2004 NCAA Championship; the women's soccer team reached the Sweet 16 of the 2003 NCAA Championship, and the women's volleyball team reached the second round of the NCAA Championship in 2003 and 2004. The student-athletes in KU's 18-sport program have achieved unprecedented success in the classroom as well, setting records for grade-point averages in each of the last two semesters. KU's athletics fundraising has reached unprecedented levels under Perkins.
At Connecticut (1990-2003), Perkins was instrumental in guiding UConn athletics to impressive growth, both athletically and academically. His leadership influenced six NCAA Division I National Championships. He also was responsible for negotiating a multi-million-dollar contract for the televising of UConn's women's basketball games.
Perkins was honored in 2000 as the inaugural winner of the National Athletic Director of the Year Award as selected by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). He was also lauded for bringing UConn football to the NCAA Division I-A level: The State of Connecticut Legislature funded a $90-million, 40,000-seat stadium for UConn in East Hartford; it opened in August 2003. The Huskies now compete in the Big East Football Conference.
Perkins has served on two prestigious national-level committees - the NCAA Championships & Competition Cabinet and the NCAA Bowl Certification Committee.
A native of Chelsea, Mass., Perkins was inducted into his high school Hall of Fame in 1989. A highly recruited basketball player, he played at the University of Iowa (1965-67) for Hall of Fame coach and KU graduate Ralph Miller. Perkins earned his undergraduate degree there in 1967.
Perkins served as Director of Athletics (1969-80) and head basketball coach (1969-79) at the University of South Carolina Aiken as that institution grew from a junior college to a four-year institution. He received his master's degree in education (1975) from the University of South Carolina. Perkins is scheduled to deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary Doctor of Education degree at USC Aiken May 5.
Perkins has also served as athletics director at the University of Maryland and Wichita State University, and associate director of athletics at the University of Pennsylvania. Perkins is married to the former Gwen Flaum. Like Lew, Gwen earned an undergraduate degree from Iowa and a master's degree in education from the University of South Carolina. They have two daughters (Amy, husband Brandon Macneill; Holly, husband Tom Halligan) and one granddaughter (Caroline Macneill).
"We are thrilled that our Board of Trustees has elected Ms. Albert and Mr. Perkins, and the Hall of Fame looks forward to sharing their tremendous business knowledge and passion for basketball," said John L. Doleva, Hall of Fame President & CEO. "The abilities of our two new Board members will undoubtedly assist the continued growth of the Basketball Hall of Fame and the game it honors and celebrates."
Story courtesy: KUAC