June 19, 2017
For Immediate Release
By Jordan Alves, sports information director
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Campbellsville University President Dr. Michael V. Carter has announced the promotion of Rusty Hollingsworth to vice president for athletics starting July 1. With that promotion, Jim Hardy, assistant athletic director, is moving to the director of athletics position, also starting July 1.
In addition, head baseball coach and Associate AD Beauford Sanders will have a bigger role in the daily operations of the department.
Hollingsworth, who has 26 years of athletic administration experience and served as director of athletics the previous 16 years, moves into the new position as the sixth vice president at Campbellsville University.
“During the past 16 years, Rusty has shown exceptional leadership skills and has helped our athletics department grow immensely,” Carter said. “His leadership with our 28 programs has been a time of innovation, vision and streamlining athletic offerings.
“Our university is growing at a fast rate and a big part of that is due to athletics. Rusty’s vice president position will allow him to spearhead athletics fundraising for future facilities and programs that are being added in the near future.”
During his tenure, Hollingsworth has overseen the addition of numerous facilities: The new wrestling facility, Hawkins Athletic Complex, Gosser Gymnasium, the Kelly Hall Tennis facility, Indoor Practice Facility and the Montgomery-Haydon Soccer Field. He has also led renovations to the football, baseball and softball stadiums, and is currently working on plans for further facility upgrades. He also has overseen the addition or reinstatement of 12 athletic programs during his tenure.
The athletics department is growing immensely and new programs and facilities are on the horizon. The biggest is the Ronnie Hord H&W Sport Shop Fieldhouse, which was destroyed in a fire this past April. Blue prints for the H&W Fieldhouse are still in the works but a new location has been determined, across from the current Hawkins Athletic Center.
“I am excited to accept this new position in the athletics department as the university prepares for the future,” said Hollingsworth. “It has been a great pleasure to serve as director of athletics for the past 16 years. As the director of athletics I’ve seen the need for facilities and resources increase every year as our athlete population continues to grow. This new position will give me the chance to help meet those needs and still be involved in the daily operations of athletics. Thank you to Dr. Carter and our board of trustees for allowing me this new opportunity to serve this great institution.”
Campbellsville’s athletic teams have also seen unparalleled success under Hollingsworth’s guidance. In 2009-10 and 2010-11, the coaching staff captured the institution’s first and second Mid-South Conference President’s Cups, thanks to the Tigers’ 13 MSC regular season championships combined in the two seasons.
This past season, Campbellsville finished with four national champions, five Mid-South Conference titles, 119 Academic All-Conference performers and 22 NAIA All-American honors. During Hollingsworth’s tenure, 23 of the 27 NAIA, NCCAA or WCWA national championships have been won.
In 2015-16, the Tigers and Lady Tigers had their best seasons to date. CU brought home a total of eight Mid-South Conference Championships, seven student-athletes were named Player of the Year, six coaches named Coach of the Year and three freshmen were named Freshman of the Year.
With the unparalleled success on the field, CU finished No. 13 in the Learfield Directors’ Cup. But CU athletics competed off the field as well with five MSC Champions of Character recipients, while the men’s and women’s swimming programs both earned the NAIA Champions of Character Team Award at the National Championship. In the past three years, CU student-athletes have been named Champion of Character a record 20 times. In 2010, the Lady Tiger basketball team and Tiger football team were both named the Champion of Character team for their sport by the NAIA. In addition to this past season, both swim programs earned the honor in 2014.
In April 2011, Hollingsworth was named the Under Armour NAIA Southeast Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA). He has three times been named the Mid-South Conference Athletic Director of the Year in 2004, 2010 and 2015.
Hollingsworth came to Campbellsville in 2001 from Tennessee Wesleyan College where he was Dean of Students and Director of Financial Aid. He was also the Associate Director of Admissions, Athletics Eligibility Coordinator and Assistant Director of Financial Aid/Financial Aid Compliance Officer for Athletes at Carson-Newman College.
Hardy has spent the previous four years as the assistant AD under the leadership of Hollingsworth. A 1985 graduate of Campbellsville University, Hardy spent 10 seasons as an assistant on the CU Fighting Tigers football coaching staff under head coaches Mark Peach, Jim Deaton and Perry Thomas. He served as running backs coach for most of that time and also served as eligibility and equipment coordinator for the team for a number of years. In 2010, he was named assistant head coach. In 2012 he served as running game coordinator and was the recruiting coordinator for the Fighting Tigers, helping to bring in more than 70 student-athlete commitments prior to National Signing Day in February 2013.
Hardy has also served as the NCCAA Mid-East Regional Chair the past two years and is a member of the NCCAA National Football Committee the previous four.
In addition, head baseball coach and assistant AD Beauford Sanders will have a bigger hand in the daily operations of the department and is moving his title to Associate Director of Athletics.
“We are very fortunate to have someone the caliber as Jim Hardy to assume the role of director of athletics,” said Carter. “Campbellsville is experiencing tremendous growth in our student-athlete population, facilities and the success of the entire department. Jim’s previous experience as an athletic administrator will help move us forward as our growth continues.”
“First and foremost I would like to say it’s been a honor working side by side with Rusty the previous four years,” said Hardy. “Under his leadership, the athletics department has achieved remarkable success both on and off the field. You can’t replace someone like Rusty; I just want to continue to build on what he has already established. He has played a vital role in our success and I plan to continue the tradition of Tiger and Lady Tiger athletics.
“I am excited about this opportunity to represent Campbellsville University in this new role. I am humbled by the confidence that Dr. Carter, Rusty and our athletics staff have in me. I look forward to the challenges that lay ahead for us and I am ready to go to work.”
Away from the field, Hardy has led numerous Spring Break mission trips with Sports Reach Ministries, which often includes Tiger football players going along to minister while playing sports. He also took over the football program’s community service projects during 2010 and 2011. He and the team were recognized in December 2010 by receiving the NAIA Champion of Character Team Award.
Hardy was also spearheaded the 2014 Coaches to Costa Rica Mission Trip for the entire athletics department. In the summer of 2016, he developed another mission opportunity in the summer of 2016 as the coaches and staff traveled to the Dominican Republic to run sports camps and share the love of Jesus Christ.
Hardy began his career in athletics in 1984 when he was named by Dave Fryrear to be a para-professional football coach at Campbellsville High School. In 1985, he was hired as a full-time social studies teacher and assistant football coach. Hardy twice received the Campbellsville University Excellence in Teaching Award for Campbellsville High School. During his 24-year tenure Hardy served 17 years as athletic director at Campbellsville High School.
During his time at Campbellsville High School, in addition to duties as athletics director, Hardy spent 18 seasons coaching football as a position coach, offensive coordinator and head coach of the Eagles. Hardy spent eight years on the Kentucky board for the All “A” Basketball Classic in Richmond, Ky., and also worked to coordinate All “A” events in volleyball, baseball, softball and other sports. He served three terms as President of the KHSAA 5th Region Athletic Directors Association and was inducted into the 5th Region Athletic Directors Hall of Fame in 2009. He also served three terms (12 years) as president of the Heartland Athletic Conference.
Aside from his undergraduate degree from Campbellsville, Hardy received a master’s degree in secondary education and physical education from Western Kentucky University in 1990 and was nationally certified in Athletic Administration (CAA) in 2004 through the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
Campbellsville University is a widely-acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 5,000 students offering over 80 programs of study including 19 master’s degrees, six postgraduate areas and seven pre-professional programs. The university has off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset and Hodgenville with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville and a full complement of online programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.