40 in 40 - Kathy Beauregard
Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Title IX, wmubroncos.com takes a look at 40 key moments/females in the history of women's athletics at Western Michigan University. Though the selection process, an effort was made to highlight a moment and player/coach from each of our current women's sports programs, as well pay respect to our women's legacy sports. A different feature will be released each of the 40 days, July 24 through Sept. 1.
Athletic Director: 1997-Present
WMU Administration: 1988-97
Head Gymnastics Coach: 1978-88
First hired as the head gymnastics coach in 1978-79, Kathy Beauregard has helped shape Western Michigan Athletics for over 30 years. The Athletic Director since 1997, Beauregard is the first woman to hold the department's top post at WMU. Nationally, she is one of only five female athletic directors in the 120 Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Schools."She's first class in everything she does," said Michigan State AD Mark Hollis, in an interview this past year with the Kalamazoo Gazette.
"She's one of those people when you're around you feel better about yourself, and that's a gift that some people have. When you're an athletic director, it's like running any other organization. There are a lot of demands and stresses, and she's able to approach it in an unbelievable manner."
As a 23-year old and recent graduate from Hope College, Beauregard's first position at Western Michigan was a direct result of Title IX. At the time, Western Michigan was taking the necessary steps to fall in line with Title IX regulations, which included hiring full-time female coaches. Beauregard was selected to take over the Bronco gymnastics program, which she would coach for the next 10 years.
"Now serving as the athletic director, I know I would never had an opportunity to serve in this position, never would have even come cross my mind to think back in those days that I would be a director of athletics. I really have to be thankful for the law and the women who paved the way in front of me for us to be able to do what we do today," Beauregard said.
In 1988-89 Beauregard transitioned from the coaching side to administration, serving as an assistant athletic director. She then stepped into the role of senior associate athletic director from 1993-97, where she supervised all revenue sports, the University’s compliance with NCAA rules, academic services, student-athlete welfare, and athletic marketing and communications. In 1997, she became the school's athletic director.
During her tenure as AD, Western Michigan University has maintained a sterling, no NCAA MAJOR violations, record in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), one of only 17 major athletic programs in the nation with such a record. Additionally, student athletes averaged a better than 3.0 GPA for 10 straight semesters; 24 Broncos have earned All-America status; and 26 Bronco athletes have been named Academic All-Americans.
As the gymnastics coach, Beauregard led Western Michigan to back-to-back Mid-American Conference Championships in 1986 & 1987 and twice earned MAC Coach of the Year honors.
Beauregard has collected several local, regional and national honors during the course of her career. In 2011, she was named the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award for WMU’s region and division.
Beauregard earned her bachelor's degree from Hope College and her master's degree in athletic administration from WMU.