The Hermann Administration Comes to an End
Written by KWUStudentMedia on September 15, 2019
It’s been the biggest news to hit Kansas Wesleyan this year. Mike Hermann, Athletic Director for the KWU Athletics program, resigned to accept a Senior Associate Athletic Director position at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. After his six and a half years of commitment to coyote athletics, on September 21, which also happens to be the KWU vs. Bethany football game, Hermann will hand over his responsibilities as AD.
Before starting at KWU, Hermann was on the search to get back into heading athletics. Here, he found just that opportunity. As one of Kansas Wesleyan President Dr. Matt Thompson’s first hires, Hermann was excited to create an environment where athletics could work cohesively with the university. Coming in, Hermann saw that, “Salina offered great potential,” and couldn’t wait to join the Salina and KWU community.
Right away, Hermann strived to strengthen the two communities. “I think Kansas Wesleyan was a bit off the radar when I got here,” he said. “The connection with our athletics program, people coming to events, people serving as host families, the Night With the Yotes event and the growth of the number of people attending that, I think all those built up the community connection to where it is now is really great.” Initiating programs like host families, where Salina locales act as host parents to student athletes, and the Night With the Yotes, the annual dinner auction that raises thousands in revenue directly for Coyote athletics has helped bridge the gap between the town and KWU sports. Since then, community involvement within the athletics program has exceeded as more people become KWU supporters. “That didn’t happen six years ago, and thats been fun to see the transformation and so I’m really excited to see how the community is behind the program” Hermann said.
As Hermann gets ready for the move, he takes with him many key lessons he has bettered from. For him, the most crucial would be persistence. “I share that with our staff all time, you need to be positive and persistent,” he shared. Working as head of athletics, issues pose challenges daily. “You need to be optimistic to look for a solution. You just need to be looking for other opportunities and you need to be persistent, and I think this position has solidified that in my mind.
Coming to the NAIA level here at Kansas Wesleyan has altered Hermann’s ideology about what is important. The first he mentioned being, “you really get to know the student athletes.” At a smaller school like KWU, Hermann has been able to form connections with the athletes who come here. “This has brought me back to really why I got into this business to make an impact on those lives of student athletes.” Working with Coyote athletics has also illustrated how much of an impact one person can have. “That’s something that’s significant about Kansas Wesleyan, and it’s not just the one person being the Athletic Director, but it’s a good coach, a good staff member.”
Hermann has been here for many remarkable sports seasons. Numerous KWU achievements could have topped his list as biggest accomplishment. “We could call it championships, or Academic All-Americans, we could look at all those accolades,” he said. All of which he is right. In last year alone, KWU took home six KCAC championships and five teams earned NAIA postseason bids. Just recently, the athletics program was named a Gold Level NAIA Champion of Character, the first time for Kansas Wesleyan ever. To Hermann, however, those don’t truly measure up to what he sees as his greatest accomplishment while Athletic Director – the culture. “The culture of serving students,” as he said, is what he hopes others remember of his time spent working here. “That’s for me, I hope, the lasting legacy. I have been fortunate to be involved with a lot of good things here, but it’s the people I leave behind and the people that we will be able to bring to Kansas Wesleyan that will continue moving that forward.”
In his lasting message to the staff, students, and all who back KWU athletics, Hermann mentioned one thing, make history. “Do something special, make history; work together to make history.” He sees the talent and potential that this school and athletics program has to give. In these recent years, history has been made in records broken, championships, and rings for many teams on campus. Although Hermann will no longer be heading the athletics department, those are still up for grabs this year, next year, and so on. “That’s an opportunity that remains in front of everyone here at this university, to make history.”