DeWayne Peevy is off to DePaul University in Chicago to be its new athletic director, UK announced Monday afternoon. He gone.
Peevy stepped down from his role as Kentucky’s deputy athletic director after 12 years in the athletic department, where he began as a director of media relations in 2008. He leaves behind a place he loves, but will miss his ‘Old Kentucky Home,’ Peevy said in the press release from UK:
“I will miss ‘My Old Kentucky Home. College athletics have been my heartbeat for as long as I can remember. From the University of Montevallo, my time at the Gulf South Conference and Southeastern Conference, and most recently at the University of Kentucky, watching young men and women grow and compete has been the center of my universe. At UK, I was unbelievably fortunate to fulfill that passion and enjoy the privilege to play a small part in the lives of our student-athletes.
“If that alone was the impact Kentucky had on our lives, it would be worth it alone. But perhaps more than that, we are leaving family. Lexington has become our home. My wife, Allison, and I have raised our kids, Kaitlyn and Braden, in Lexington. We’ve been embraced – and become a part of – Big Blue Nation. The relationships we have built at Kentucky will last a lifetime. For us to walk away from that is difficult, but we do so knowing that we will always be a part of BBN and will keep a close eye on the success of the Wildcats.
“I want to thank Dr. Eli Capilouto, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart and Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari for their leadership, guidance and the opportunity of a lifetime at UK as I try to instill so many of the values I learned from them at DePaul.”
John Calipari, who trusts DeWayne Peevy more than anyone in Lexington, Kentucky, had this to say about losing his friend and colleague:
“DeWayne is not only a colleague, he’s become a dear friend. It’s why I have a lot of mixed emotions today. I know the impact he had here and what we are losing, but more importantly, as a friend and as someone who knows he’s long overdue for this opportunity, I’m just so happy for him. He deserves this. DeWayne is someone I trust wholeheartedly, to the point where he became the center of our scheduling and worked hand-in-hand with me on just about everything we do. It made it so that he and I talked every day, oftentimes multiple times a day. Both Mitch and I trusted him to care about these kids and be about the program, and we knew he would do it with great integrity.
Lastly, Mitch Barnhart, Peevy’s boss, said, “DeWayne is already a well-respected leader in college athletics as he has shown the ability to be effective in numerous areas of athletics administration. At UK, his impact will be felt for years to come and we will be able to enjoy the memories of the successes in our program we experienced together.”
Peevy will be introduced at his new job on Tuesday. In the meantime, the DePaul community is getting to know its new athletic director through an interview with Peevy in Monday’s Chicago Tribune. In it, Peevy made it clear he brings with him some big dreams for the Blue Demons.
“I’m a big dreamer,” Peevy told the Tribune. “I want to be the best in the Big East; how can we get there? I dream of winning the national championship. If you can’t dream with me, it’s not going to work out. And that’s with any sport. How can we be the best?”
Peevy also outlined his role at Kentucky, explaining how he served as a liaison between John Calipari and Mitch Barnhart.
“I’m handling all the scheduling, contracts, monitoring the budget and being the go-between for Mitch Barnhart and Cal on day-to-day issues,” he said. “Cal is 24/7 and Mitch has a full department and he chairs (numerous) committees. He’s not available to Cal at his pace every day. So it allowed me to be the basketball athletic director to some degree. That has trained me to be ready for this next step.”
John Calipari and Mitch Barnhart will need to get a lot closer, and everyone at UK will miss DeWayne. He deserves his own athletic department but he’ll leave a big hole in another one.