EMPORIA (KSNT) – A Kansas native has been named as the next Emporia State University Director of Athletics, on Wednesday.

David Spafford, a man with 27 years of experience in athletics, is the new athletic director of the Hornets. He is set to officially begin his duties on July 17, 2022.

“Emporia State Athletics is an opportunity that I have been looking at since my days coaching at Manhattan High School, while on the Kansas Shrine Bowl Board of Directors and while working for Kansas State and Wichita State Athletics,” Spafford said in an Emporia State press release. “The overall community has been very supportive throughout the years and with a new era of leadership beginning under President Hush, it is truly an exciting time for Hornet Nation.”

He comes to ESU from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. He was there for seven years, serving the Assistant Vice President and director of athletics there.

Spafford has held numerous leadership positions in the past with the athletic community including time spent on the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball and Women’s Lacrosse Regional Advisory Committee, the RMAC’s Athletic Director’s Administrative Committee and the RMAC Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He also established the first Title IX review of the Regis athletic department and developed a Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the department made up of administrators, coaches and student-athletes.

This announcement also comes after ESU recently named a new president earlier this year. Ken Hush, who had been serving as ESU’s interim president, officially filled the role on June 22, 2022.

“We are thrilled for David to join our team. His Kansas roots, past successes in development and fundraising along with his structured and disciplined approach are exactly what Hornet Athletics needs right now,” Emporia State University President Ken Hush said. “His commitment to student-athletes and the experience he brings from other Kansas schools are vital to ESU’s return to national prominence.”

Spafford replaces Kent Weiser who was the Director of Athletics at ESU for 23 years. Weiser retired from his role on March 8, 2022. He helped the Hornets go on to win 25 MIAA regular-season team championships and 18 tournament championships.