By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports
Considering Kevin Bostian had never been near the 318 area code until Monday, and made only a few visits to New Orleans 20 years ago, the newly-named Northwestern State athletic director hasn’t stumbled out of the starting gate.
Born and raised in Durham, N.C., he already can say Natchitoches correctly, no small feat.
He and his wife, Megan, brought a king cake home to Greensboro, N.C., after they visited NSU for his interview Monday. Meat pies and etouffee are on the short list of foods they’ve already enjoyed and they’re eager to get more Louisiana cooking.
He is even more eager to get NSU Athletics cooking.
Bostian, 43, was hired Tuesday and takes over Feb. 7. He will be introduced on campus this morning at 11 in the Friedman Student Union Ballroom in an event open to the public. It will also be streamed on the NSUDemons.com website.
He was highly regarded by the 10-member advisory committee and search firm owner Kyle Bowlsby, said committee member Mike Newton.
“Kevin Bostian was really impressive in his interview with our committee,” said Newton, president of the Demons Unlimited Foundation and president of Exchange Bank and Trust Co. in Natchitoches. “He has all the tools to take us to the next level. I’m excited that he will be our next AD. I think he’s going to impress everyone.”
A former Demon basketball staffer, UMKC assistant coach Steve Payne, praised Bostian.
“You will like him. He is a good man, somebody you enjoy working with and somebody you respect for how he goes about his business,” said Payne, who was on J.D. Barnett’s staff at NSU from 1994-99 and worked alongside Bostian while head coach at Tennessee Tech.
“Great hire by Northwestern State! Kevin made a massive impact here at UNCG and definitely deserves this opportunity,” tweeted UNC Greensboro head soccer coach Chris Rich.
“Great selection! They don’t come any better than @KevinBostian,” tweeted Caleb Moore, a former minor league baseball player who met him at East Tennessee State.
The Northwestern job landed on Bostian’s radar thanks to Lafayette native Ben Broussard, LSU’s former vice president for development. Now head of the Wolfpack Club at North Carolina State, Broussard told him about a job that “needs somebody with your credentials.”
Bostian quickly did his homework, he said Wednesday on The Patrick Netherton Show airing on 1130 AM The Tiger.
“I came away thoroughly impressed. I was excited to see the academics are very good at NSU, and the community supports the school. Talking with different people who knew about the institution, I got excited and it came to fruition (Tuesday),” he said.
Bostian’s two decades in athletics are filled with fundraising successes at his alma mater, NC State, along with the last two years at UNC Greensboro and prior stops at Georgia Southern, Tennessee Tech, East Tennessee State and South Alabama.
He’s served as interim AD for four months at UNCG, making some coaching hires, and has overseen successful programs there and at Georgia Southern.
Bostian is the administrator for UNCG basketball, which reached March Madness last year. He had oversite for a Georgia Southern baseball program that has a pair of College World Series appearances and a championship culture.
He’s pleased to have already received a congratulatory e-mail from outgoing Demons’ AD Greg Burke, and plans to sit down together for orientation and advice.
“I want his thoughts on the department, the school, the support base, the Southland Conference. I’ll have my ideas of priorities (starting with assessing the budget), but he’s been there over 25 years and I’m eager to establish a relationship with him,” said Bostian, who has a simple agenda for the Demons.
“We’re going to do big things at Northwestern State.”
Photo: Courtesy UNC Greensboro