Devin Crosby announced as new deputy athletic director

Kevin Battaglia

Joel Nielsen, Kent State director of athletics, announced Saturday that Devin Crosby would be the university’s new deputy athletic director.

“What makes this [job] very, very special is the advancement of this institution and the national recognition of Kent State,” Crosby said. “I think Kent is right on the cusp of pushing that national success and [being] a major influence not only in Northeast Ohio but the state of Ohio as well.”

Crosby will replace former deputy athletic director Tom Kleinlein, who left to take a director of athletics job at Georgia Southern University.

“[Crosby] is very well qualified and very understanding of his role,” Nielsen said. “He will be a great advocate for these student athletes.”

Crosby will begin his first day as deputy athletic director on Feb. 11. He will be involved in all the athletic department’s daily operations and will serve as Joel Nielsen’s assistant, according to the Kent State athletics website. He will also serve as the supervisor for football and men’s and women’s basketball.

Despite growing up near Pittsburgh, Crosby said he is no stranger to Kent State. He recalled many visits to the university, whether it was for running in a track meet or for his first college visit with his father. Crosby also has a sister who attended Kent State. He said Kent State has always been close to his heart.

“There’s so much tied into Kent for me. It’s a special place that’s always been special in my heart,” Crosby said.

He believes that having good people in an organization and having a great relationship with those people is a major factor in seeing success. Crosby praised the work Kent State president Lester Lefton has done in building the university in terms of academic success and the impact on the community. He also credited Nielsen for the amount of success in the athletic department, success he said will soon be nationally recognized.

“Joel hires and takes quality people with skills and puts them in a position to succeed at what they do,” Crosby said. “I want to be able to learn as much as I can from Joel; he’s a star in this industry.”

Crosby brings to the Flashes over 14 years of administrative experience. His career includes time spent at Holy Cross, Houston, Northeastern, Saint Louis and Virginia, all Division I universities. He said his main goal is the same as it was at all the other universities: to give back to the young people and be able to mentor them in their transition from young people to adults.

“This is an awesome career to be able to give back to the young people,” he said.

Crosby is coming from Towson after serving as the deputy athletic director for the last two years. He assisted with strategic planning and the overall management of the department and helped build relationships with alumni and university donors. He also supervised the Tigers’ football and baseball programs.

During his tenure at Towson, the Tigers won the Colonial Athletic Association football championships in 2011 and 2012 under Crosby’s supervision, according to the Kent State Athletics website.

Nielsen believes Crosby will fare well for the university.

“He will be a great representative not only in our department but as the university as a whole,” Nielsen said. “I think he will be accepted by the community and well-liked in a short time.”

Contact Kevin Battaglia at [email protected].