Ken Halpin Named Winthrop University Athletics Director

May 16, 2016

Quick Facts

bullet point Ken Halpin, deputy athletic director at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington, has been selected as Winthrop's Director of Athletics.
bullet point Halpin will begin work on July 11. He will succeed Winthrop's outgoing and long-serving Athletics Director Tom Hickman.
bullet point He will be responsible for the administration of all aspects of Winthrop's NCAA Division I athletics program.

Ken Halpin

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA — After an extensive national search, Ken Halpin, deputy athletic director at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington, has been selected as Winthrop University's Director of Athletics.

Halpin will begin work on July 11 and will be responsible for the administration of all aspects of Winthrop's NCAA Division I athletics program. He will provide strategic leadership and direction for a program that places a priority on academic achievement and athletic excellence.

"Based on my interactions with Ken, feedback from campus and community stakeholders, and references from people who have worked with him, I believe he will be an outstanding addition to the university leadership team," President Dan Mahony said. "A few things stood out that make Ken a great fit for Winthrop and our community: he has experience and insight working with a mid-major program like ours, a commitment to diversity and gender equity, and a keen grasp of the importance of promoting and marketing the athletic department."

As director, Halpin will develop and implement a strategic vision for the athletics program, engender the success of athletics teams and individual performance of student athletes, serve as an advocate for student-athlete well-being, prioritize student-athlete academic achievement and personal growth, as well as fundraise and represent Winthrop athletics in the community, among other duties.

Halpin said he could not be more excited about the opportunity and the prospect of working closely with the department's students, coaches and staff to help Winthrop University reach its strategic goals.

"Any success that I have experienced during my career has come as a result of being associated with an amazing and diverse group of teammates," Halpin said. "This is what excites me about Winthrop — they have amazing people from diverse backgrounds. I am very much looking forward to all we will accomplish together as a team."

Over the past five years at EWU Halpin has served in multiple roles, most recently as deputy athletic director overseeing a wide range of responsibilities covering all external operations including development, marketing, communications, ticketing, sponsorships, licensing, special projects, and special events. He was also the sport supervisor for the men's and women's tennis programs.

Halpin's first year at EWU was spent as the director of corporate partnerships for their multi-media rights partner, which has since been acquired by Learfield, generating corporate revenue for the EWU Athletic Department.

Halpin received a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Washington State University in 2015 and an M.A. in sport administration from Gonzaga University in 2008, where he has taught as an adjunct professor in the sport management program for the past seven years. He earned a B.A. from Willamette University in 2005, where he was an All-Conference performer in both football and baseball.Ken Halpin Family Horizontal Crop

Halpin was selected from an extensive applicant pool which the search advisory committee narrowed to four finalists last month. Each candidate visited campus and met with a variety of Winthrop personnel and groups representing virtually all facets of campus, including current students and Rock Hill community leaders.

"Ken Halpin continually and consistently distinguished himself throughout the search and selection process," said Eduardo Prieto, chair of the search advisory committee. "The committee invested countless hours and energy to bring four exceptional candidates to campus. We are pleased that with Ken's selection we have a leader who will build upon the good work and efforts of Tom Hickman, our outgoing and long-serving athletics director."

Halpin will be joined in his move to Rock Hill by his wife, Amber, and their two sons--Kenny, 8, and Jonathan, 3. The family looks forward to a new addition in November.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or e-mail her at

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