Hayes is first LA Tech athlete - male or female - to win Kearney Award
Tech to enter league on July 1, 2013
Deputy Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator Mary Kay Hungate enters her 28th year as a member of the Louisiana Tech Athletics Department and has proven to be an integral part in the emergence of the University's programs on the playing fields and in the classroom.
Not only does Hungate serve as the sports administrator for men's and women's basketball, women's soccer, softball, women's tennis, women's bowling and women's volleyball, but she is also in charge of NCAA compliance for all of the university's 16 NCAA sanctioned programs.
As one of the top two ranking administrators in the Tech Athletics Department, Hungate is part of a senior staff that was instrumental in helping the University earn an invitation to join Conference USA starting July 1, 2013.
In addition, Hungate and the current senior staff has also garnered a number of national awards, including the 2010 Turnkey PRISM Award - which recognizes colleges for managerial excellence across four areas: marketing/branding; fan development; community relations; and customer/client service.
The Tech athletics department has also finished in the Top 10 three of the past four years in the Excellence in Management Cup, which recognizes the most efficient athletic departments in the nation.
Hungate serves a vital role in the hiring of coaches. Hungate proved instrumental in the decision by former Tech Kodak All-American and WNBA All-Star Teresa Weatherspoon - who played for Hungate in the late-80s - to return to Louisiana Tech in June of 2008. Weatherspoon was promoted to head coach in February of 2009 where she has led the program to a trifecta of Western Athletic Conference titles and two straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
She also served as the point person in the hiring process of head women's soccer coach Kevin Sherry. Sherry led the Lady Techster soccer team to four straight winning seasons (the first ones in program history), the program's first ever WAC victories and its first appearance in the WAC Tournament in 2010.
Another of Hungate's responsibilities includes overseeing the academic side of the Tech athletics department, another area which has improved drastically as proven by the fact LA Tech's graduation rate continues to be one of the highest in the state (Federal Graduation Report).
This past year Tech student-athletes boasted an all-time high 72 percent four-year graduation success rate while a total of 92 student-athletes earned Academic All-WAC accolades. Tech football was recognized nationally with the Academic Achievement Award presented by the American Football Coaches Association while the Bulldog golf team earned an NCAA Public Recognition Award.
For the fourth consecutive year, Louisiana Tech saw impressive improvements in the majority of its Academic Progress Rates (APR) as all 16 of its NCAA sanctioned programs are penalty free for the second consecutive year. Louisiana Tech saw nine of its programs record their highest multi-year APR scores ever while five registered their highest single year APR score ever. Four of the programs also earned a perfect 1,000 score on the single year rate.
Hungate also plays an important role in LA Tech's NCAA Certification process. As a member of the Steering Committee and the liaison between the athletic department and the University's Self Study Committees, she provides the information needed for the committees to write their reports. In 2006, LA Tech completed its second NCAA Certification cycle and once again was certified without conditions.
Hungate joined the Louisiana Tech staff in 1985 as an assistant women's basketball coach and remained in that role for five years. During that time, the Lady Techsters participated in four Final Fours and won the NCAA National Championship in 1988.
In 1990, Hungate made a move out of coaching and became assistant athletics director for academics and compliance as well as senior woman administrator. One of Hungate's early accomplishments as assistant director of athletics was the creation of the Louisiana Tech Athletic Academic Center program.
Hungate has served terms on the NCAA Division I Academics/Eligibility/Compliance Cabinet, the NCAA Division I Interpretations/Legislative Review Subcommittee, the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators Wade Trophy Selection Committee and as an NCAA Peer Reviewer. She has also served on the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Issues Committee since 2004.
She currently serves on the Western Athletic Conference Council, the Conferences' Legislative Review Committee, the Finance Committee and the Code Book Committee. In addition, along with Athletics Director Bruce Van De Velde, she represents the athletics department as an ex-officio member of the LA Tech Athletics Council.
Hungate's professional career began as Women's Sports Coordinator and head volleyball, head basketball and head softball coach at Illinois' Carl Sandburg Junior College. She spent four seasons at the college where she guided the basketball team to a mark of 80-22 which included an 11th place finish in the 1976 NJCAA national tournament.
In 1978 Hungate took over the head coaching position at Richwoods High School in Peoria, Ill., and quickly compiled one of the top prep coaching records in the nation.
During her seven seasons at Richwoods High School, Hungate's team ran up an impressive record of 195-13, including a state-record 63 consecutive victories. Hungate was named the National Coach of the Year by USA Today in 1985. Before coming to Louisiana Tech, Hungate amassed a career coaching record of 275-35.