TJC introduces its new athletics director


As he was introduced as Tyler Junior College’s fifth athletics director Kevin Vest mentioned that he was a first generation college student.

That he was able to get a higher education because of athletics.

Therefore, he wants to be able to help open doors to many other student-athletes, so they can have a chance to go to college as well.

Vest takes over a very successful athletics program that has won 61 national championships in its 92-year history.

“We want to continue to grow this thing. We want to continue to be great in all aspects academically, athletically, in our community. But obviously I know the significance of this job. And it’s huge in college athletics, it’s huge in junior college athletics. And it’s why I’m so humbled to be here,” said Vest.

Vest has served as athletic director at Waubonsee Community College since 2016 and was previously the sports coordinator and head baseball coach at Rock Valley College in Illinois. He has also held other coaching positions in Illinois.

Vest earned his Bachelor of Arts in physical education from Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, and his Master of Arts in organizational management from Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa.

Vest is a member of the executive committee of the National Alliance of Two-Year Athletic Administrators, men’s regional director of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA Region IV), chairman of NJCAA Region IV baseball and member of the National Association of College Director of Athletics.

TJC President Dr. Juan E. Mejia said, “Tyler Junior College continues to be recognized at the national level for excelling athletically and scholastically. Our 61 national championships and high grade point averages celebrate the leadership and success of our coaching staff and faculty.

“I am also very proud of the work accomplished by our athletic leadership and honored to work with Dr. Tim Drain, associate vice provost for student affairs, and Chuck Smith, who served TJC as interim athletic director.”

Drain said, “First, I wish to offer my sincere thanks to Chuck Smith for serving as the interim athletic director during this year of transition. He did a great job and I am truly grateful.

“It is also my pleasure to welcome Kevin, his wife Alicia, and daughter Macey to TJC. Kevin is a well-respected leader nationally and has been successful in all his endeavors. I have known Kevin for a few years and feel confident in saying that I see the best days of Apache Athletics ahead of us!”

“I would like to thank the Tyler Junior College Board of Trustees, Dr. Mejia, Dr. Drain and members of the search committee for this extraordinary opportunity,” Vest said.

“Throughout the search process, their level of professionalism and commitment to excellence in every aspect of the college experience has blown me away.

“Tyler is one of the premier two-year athletic departments in the country. I am humbled and honored to be chosen to serve as the next athletic director and be a part of such an amazing environment that allows our student-athletes to succeed on and off the field.

Watch the video to see the story.

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