“I know coming in and filling the shoes of someone who worked this position for 20 years won’t be easy,” said Steve Kinsey, the new assistant director for organized sports. Kinsey was hired in response to Carolyn Hill’s retirement after 20 years at the college.
Kinsey’s journey to Lafayette began when he was in college at Armstrong State University in Savannah, Ga. Armstrong State is a small public university, similar to Lafayette, with an undergraduate class of around 7,000 students.
“I’ve worked in the field of campus recreation for eight years,” Kinsey said. “I began working at a small campus in Savannah. I slowly worked at bigger and bigger schools until I realized I missed working at a smaller school. Lafayette has that small school feeling while also having students who are destined to achieve great things.”
Since graduating, Kinsey attended graduate school and received his bachelor of arts degree from Mount St. Mary’s University before working for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) for four years. He also served as senior assistant director of intramural and club sports at Sam Houston State University. On top of this, Kinsey has journeyed across Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
“Intramural sports was where I found myself as an undergrad,” Kinsey said. “In high school I was an athlete and when I reached college I wanted to keep up my fitness while having a good time.”
“I like intramural sports because they can appeal to everyone,” he added. “Intramural sports aren’t only for high school athletes or highly competitive individuals. If people take the opportunity to get out and try the different activities we offer I think they’ll really like the programs.”
Kinsey said he wants to focus on the game room, which he said hasn’t been highly utilized, but “has a lot of potential.”
“I’m hoping to bring back casino night…with help from the student government,” he said. “I’m also hoping to utilize the game room as a billiards triathlon, featuring games such as pool, shuffleboard, and others. I’m hoping we can incorporate some trivia and movie nights.”
Currently, Kinsey’s main focus is “emphasizing that intramurals are not just for athletes or highly competitive individuals.”
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the students,” Kinsey added. “Student development has always been my favorite part of the job. I enjoy recognizing students and interacting with people on a personal level.”
Although he’s only been at Lafayette for two weeks, Kinsey said he has already felt the immense support of the Lafayette student body and staff.
“From my first day, people have been encouraging and welcoming,” he said. “I also find it exciting to see how the program has begun to improve after only three weeks. It’s nice to be in a small enough community where I can get to know a lot of people quickly and have a positive impact on the school.”
Kinsey added that the Lafayette equipment is “top notch,” and that it’s a tradeoff of quality for quantity.
“It is not as obvious that the Kirby Sports Center has been opened for 20 years, whereas it is obvious at other schools that their building has been opened for 20 years,” Kinsey said.
Kinsey also said he is looking to “assess the student voice and find out what they want” out of intramurals. He added that he’s looking forward to going into Easton for the food and nice weather.
“The students are full of ideas, and as I get more settled in I hope to make the recreation center the best it can be,” he said.