ATHENS, Ohio (Aug. 11, 2005) -- Ohio University named James "Jim" Kahler as the executive director of the Center for Sports Administration on Aug. 11. He has more than 22 years in the sports business industry and has been the executive director of the MBA Sports Business Program at Arizona State University for the past three years.
"I am truly honored to have the opportunity to return to Ohio University as the executive director of the Center for Sports Administration," Kahler said. "I look forward to working with our students, alumni, faculty and staff in the creation of a world class center that will provide real value to the sports business industry."
Kahler formerly was senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he was directly responsible for all sales and marketing functions for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Gund Arena, Cleveland Rockers and Mid-American Conference Properties.
"The appointment of Kahler and the establishment of the Center for Sports Administration is truly a defining moment for our university, college and Sports Administration and Facility Management (SAFM) program as we move to solidify our position as a national leader in that field," said College of Health and Human Services Dean Gary Neiman.
"As the founding institution for graduate sports management education in the world, it is only fitting that our Sports Administration and Facility Management program evolves into a center that will be a vehicle through which we can contract with the industry to do research that is relevant for that industry," Neiman said. Ohio University's Sports Administration and Facility Management program began in 1966. The graduate-level program prepares students for key positions in the sports industry such as careers in professional sports, intercollegiate athletics, corporate sports organizations, sports media, public assembly facilities and sports tours.
"In my experience in higher education, I have met fellow Ohio University alumni who have been the leaders of athletic departments across the nation," Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis said. "The hiring of Jim Kahler and the establishment of a Center for Sports Administration speaks to the quality and distinguished reputation of the sports administration program."
With Kahler's direction, the center will put academic theory into practice. There is a growing network of more than 1,000 alumni who work in almost every avenue of the sports and entertainment industries.
"This appointment, combined with the elevation of the overall sports administration program, ensures that future graduates of Ohio University will continue to hold preeminent positions throughout the athletics world," said Mid-American Conference Commissioner Rick Chryst. "Jim Kahler is the perfect person to lead this exciting venture. His experience is broad and deep, he integrates the private sector effectively into an academic environment, and his values are impeccable. Selfishly, as commissioner of the MAC, I am excited that he is coming home."
Under Kahler, the Arizona State University MBA Sports Business program has grown and been recognized for a number of research projects, fellowships, corporate partnerships and placements. He was responsible for the administration, recruitment, placement and development of the program. Kahler also taught several classes each year and helped students by providing career counseling. He serves as the vice president of industry affairs on the advisory board for the Sports Marketing Association.
Kahler was honored in 1994 as the distinguished alumnus of the Sports Administration and Facility Management program and is a member of the class of 1981. His bachelor's degree is from Xavier University. Kahler assumes this broadened role as Andy Kreutzer, program coordinator since 1995, returns to fulltime teaching duties.
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