WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Wichita State University (WSU) has found its next athletic director.

WSU President Rick Muma announced in a news release on Wednesday that Kevin Saal, who had been in the same position at Murray State University, would be taking the reins of the program in July 2022.

“This is a new day for Shocker Athletics. As we look to the future of our program, I am incredibly pleased to welcome Kevin to Shocker Nation,” Muma said. “Kevin returns to his home state of Kansas with a strong, forward-thinking vision for our men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletics programs. Kevin is just the person to move WSU’s athletics program forward and push it to even greater heights.” 

Saal led Murray State through two athletic conference realignments, growing the department with increases in student-athlete APR, league championships, and appearances in NCAA Tournaments and postseason play.

Prior to his time at Murray State, Saal spent 12 years at the University of Kentucky, serving in various leadership roles.

Originally from Kansas, Saal worked at Kansas State from 2000 to 2005 and at the University of Missouri-Kansas City from 2005 to 2007.

“Jennifer and I are eager to return to our home state to engage and partner with Shocker student-athletes, coaches, administration, alumni, supporters and the greater Wichita community,” Saal said. “With much work to be done, I look forward to continuing to develop WSU’s championship culture through our strategic vision, core values, a first-class student-athlete experience and, ultimately, competitive excellence. Go, Shockers!” 

Saal was a swimmer in college. He started his career at Arkansas, before transferring to TCU to finish his career.