Athletic Director of the Year --
LEBANON -- Cumberland University’s Director of Athletics Ron Pavan has been named the 2019-20 Mid-South Conference Athletics Director of the Year, conference officials announced Tuesday.
This marks the second time Pavan has garnered the award -- having earning MSC Athletic Director of the Year in 2017-18.
“It is an honor to work with the Mid-South Conference athletic directors, Commissioner Eric Ward, and the Cumberland University coaches,” Pavan said.
“We have so many other deserving athletics directors in the Mid-South Conference. I am very humbled and do not like awards. My whole life is helping other people and taking the focus off myself.”
Pavan will represent the Mid-South Conference in the selection of the NAIA Athletics Director of the Year. The national award will be announced in early fall by the NAIA.
“Ron Pavan is a utility infielder at Cumberland University,” said Cumberland President Dr. Paul Stumb. “He serves in many important roles and excels at each and every one. I am so pleased that the Mid-South Conference has chosen to honor Coach Pavan and his many contributions via this well-deserved recognition.”
Pavan just completed his 12th year as CU’s athletics director and fourth year as vice-president for enrollment services. He has worked in college athletics for 34 years.
In addition to serving as an athletics director, Pavan has also been a coach and intramural director at the collegiate level.
Pavan was selected by a vote of his peers in the conference. Individuals are not allowed to vote for themselves.
“Ron Pavan serves Cumberland University in what seems like an ever-expanding number of important roles but the one he enjoys the most, in my opinion, is that of athletics director,” Commissioner Ward said.
“Ron is one of the most humble, unassuming servant leaders I have ever worked with. He is a tireless advocate and mentor for his student-athletes, coaches, and staff. Recently, he has had several significant challenges thrown at him with the tornado in early March followed closely by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Through all of the adversity, Ron has maintained his positive demeanor and been a tremendous leader on his campus,” Ward added.
“He makes Cumberland University and the Mid-South Conference better every day through his efforts.”
Before arriving at Cumberland, Pavan spent the previous 14 years at Ohio Valley University.
While at OVU, he successfully added seven varsity programs to the athletic department, oversaw creation of a booster club and moved OVU Athletics from NAIA to NCAA Division II. He also oversaw development of an indoor baseball/softball complex, new fitness center, and improvements to the gym, soccer and softball fields.
Pavan raised OVU’s profile in the local community not only by elevating the quality of sports within the program but also by bringing in major sports personalities to conduct fundraisers and corporate sponsorships, including Mike Krzyzewski and Jay Bilas among others.
During his tenure, Pavan has earned numerous awards and honors. In 2008, Ohio Valley University created the Ron Pavan Athletic Award that is given to a meritorious student-athlete every year in Pavan's honor.
He was inducted into the Ohio Valley University Hall of Fame and and named the Wilson County Sports Person of the Year in 2016.
He spent nine years at Northeastern Christian Junior College in Villanova, Pa., serving in a variety of capacities, including head coach for men's soccer, women's basketball and softball as well as working in the admissions office and as the intramural director.
He was also an instructor in the Art and Physical Education Department at NCJC.
Pavan earned his bachelor’s in Art and Physical Education from Lubbock Christian University in Lubbock, Texas, and received a master’s in Athletic Administration from West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.
He is married to the former Tammi McGhee of Lynchburg, Va. They are the parents of three children – Madison, Jenna and Mason.