Kathy Beauregard, the Director of Athletics at Western Michigan University, has been involved with the Broncos in several capacities over the course of the past 37 years and begins her 20th season as Athletic Director in 2016-17.
Beauregard is the longest serving athletic director in the Mid-American Conference and is just one of eight female Athletic Directors at the 128 Football Bowl Subdivision schools (as of 12/8/15).
Beauregard initially came to WMU in 1979 as head women’s gymnastics coach. In nine seasons (1980-88), she produced two MAC title teams and was twice named the conference’s coach of the year. During her tenure as an Athletic Director, Western Michigan has won 49 conference championships.
Under Bronco student-athletes have posted 18 consecutive semesters of a combined overall GPA above 3.00. The student-athlete population, in any given year, ranges from between 350-400 students.
Over 2012-13 the Broncos saw continued success in the classroom with three programs (women's soccer, men's tennis and women's tennis) ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation in APR and the women's gymnastics program boasted eight individuals to carry a 4.00 GPA during the spring semester.
On the mat, WMU gymnastics captured the 2013 MAC title to join the men's tennis program in earning a conference crown as the Broncos won the regular season title in men's tennis.
WMU boasted 31 All-MAC selections in 2012-13, including eight first team honorees, and garnered 26 Academic All-MAC nods. The Broncos brought the Men's FAR Award back to Kalamazoo for the fourth time in six years in 2012-13. WMU had nine Player of the Year honorees spanned across hockey, volleyball, football, men's basketball and gymnastics.
During the spring of 2012, Beauregard was awared with the 2012 YWCA Lifetime Achievement Award, given to a woman in the community who has demonstrated a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the well-being of the community, state or nation, and has a record of accomplishment, leadership and positive role modeling as a volunteer and/or in a career.
WMU Athletics solidified its presence on the national stage as volleyball and ice hockey made returns trips to their respective NCAA tournaments. It was the second at-large invitation for WMU volleyball since the 2008 season, while hockey earned the automatic bid into the NCAA West Regional by capturing the 2012 CCHA Tournament championship. The Broncos defeated the seventh and third ranked teams in the country en route to hoisting the Mason Cup.
Men's and women's soccer made back-to-back trips to the MAC Championship game during the fall of 2011 and football played in its third postseason bowl game since the 2006. The Bronco football team also boasted a pair of All-Americans in 2011 with Jordan White, who led the nation in receptions and receiving yards per game, becoming the program's first ever Consensus All-American. The Broncos succeeded again in the classroom in 2011 with a 3.14 combined GPA.
Western Michigan's success on and off the field under Beauregard's leadership was recognized immediately following the 2010-11 season. She herself was recognized by NACDA last June at the national convention, receiving the Under Armour Award. The department captured the 2010-11 Jacoby Trophy, recognizing the most successful women's athletic program overall. The Broncos also finished second in Reese Trophy voting (the men's athletics equivalent of the Jacoby) in 2010-11. Those two milestones along with WMU's success in the classroom and in the Kalamazoo was reason enough for the Mid-American Conference to award Western Michigan the Cartwright Award during the fall of 2011.
Four more student-athletes were named Capital One Academic All-America over the past two years (2010-11, 2011-12). Phil Swanson, football's second two-time honoree, and Allyson Doyle (volleyball) were honored in 2010-11. John Potter (football) and Anina Cicerone (women's soccer) added their names to the list of Broncos to reach this academic height during Beauregard's tenure.
WMU athletic facilities have greatly improved under Beauregard’s leadership. The $8-million dollar Bill Brown Football Alumni Center and the $21-million Seelye Athletic Indoor Center have benefited numerous sports teams and provide top-notch facilities for Bronco student-athletes. The locker rooms at Lawson Ice Arena were renovated and completed over the past year and the department continues to raise funds for the Hyames Field Renovation Project, a two million dollar project to renovate the historic venue into a state-of-the-art facility. Field Turf was also installed at Waldo Stadium during the Summer of 2006.
Beauregard, after the 2010-11 sporting year, was named named Athletic Director of the Year for the Football Subdivision in the Central Region by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
The beginning of 2010 marked the beginning of a new era in WMU baseball with the addition of new baseball coach Billy Gernon. Success was found on the soccer field in 2010 as well with both the men and women's programs reaching the MAC Championship match, with the men falling to eventual national champion Akron.
The 2008-09 year saw the Bronco volleyball and men’s tennis programs capture regular season MAC crowns. The volleyball team advanced to the round of 16 at the NCAA Tournament, while the Bronco football team participated in its second bowl in three seasons and the men’s basketball team won yet another MAC West title.
The 2004-05 athletic campaign continued what has become common place at Western Michigan. Team and individual success began in the fall and continued through the spring, highlighted by a MAC Championship in women’s tennis. The strength of the women’s programs as a group allowed WMU to finish second in the Jacoby Cup.
Along with four MAC titles (men’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s tennis) in 2003-04, the Broncos also enjoyed an increased level of success in the classroom. WMU’s graduation rate of 83 percent in 2003 ranked eighth nationally and featured a program grade point average of nearly 3.00.