EMPORIA (KSNT) – Emporia State welcomed David Spafford as its new athletic director, speaking to the media for the first time Monday.

Spafford comes from Regis University in Colorado, but spent time as a football coach at Manhattan High School and was on the Board of Directors for the Kansas Shrine Bowl, which took place at Emporia State.

He wasn’t just hired for being local, however. Spafford has big goals in his new position.

“Walk across that stage, I want to make sure you have a championship ring on that hand, want to make sure you have a diploma in the other hand, and make sure you have a job when you get out,” Spafford said. “That’s my promise to you.”

Hornets men’s basketball coach Craig Doty said that after he reached out to some of Spafford’s old coworkers at Regis, he found out that Spafford is known for making things happen.

“You find out that David Spafford can fundraise and have new building erected,” Doty said. “We’re really excited about the promise he brings to the table.”

Spafford has big goals for the Hornets’ athletics programs as he starts his new job.

“Aspire to be the best. We want to be the best in the MIAA. We want to be the best in the country. We have to sit down and work together,” Spafford said.