To many people, Jane Meier, the Northern Kentucky University athletic director, was one of the most successful coaches in three sports. Since coming to NKU in 1978, she has been at the top of the ranks. She previously coached volleyball, softball and women’s basketball.
Meier was named the athletic director in 1988. Since then, she has taken the athletics department to the top of the mountain. I was lucky enough to sit down with her and conduct an interview regarding the athletics department and the direction the department is heading.
Q: In your opinion, what is the state or direction of the athletic department?
A: Actually, I think it’s in really good shape. I have been here since ’78 and I just remember going through budget cuts in the early ’80s and it was really a dark, dark time. We had to do a lot just to pay bills.
Q: With new arena, do you foresee NKU athletics going to Division I-A or I-AA status?
A: If we went Division I, it wouldn’t be any of those two; we would end up with I-AAA status because we don’t have a football team. I think that we have built a great foundation for our teams and we want to remain competitive in Division II.
Q: Do you want NKU to go to Division I during your tenure?
A: It really doesn’t matter. I just want our teams to remain competitive. Everything is in place for us to do well as it stands.
Q: With the new arena, do you plan on adding more athletic teams?
A: We do plan on adding more teams. We plan on adding men’s and women’s track as varsity sports and Women’s indoor track as well. The arena is also set up so there is the possibility that you can lay ice down.
Q: How will the new arena directly help out the athletics program?
A: The new arena will help out the athletics programs a lot. The money from games and events at the arena will help out. We would love to have the arena sold out for our first basketball game.
Q: With the abundance of talent in the area, why doesn’t NKU have a football team?
A: The cost is just too high. We instated a football team back in 1997 but disbanded it November of 1997 because the cost was too much.
Q: Has there been any discussion about it?
A: No, simply because of the cost. We are also trying to be in compliance with Title IV, so it just wouldn’t be able to work out. The opportunities just wouldn’t be equal. For every opportunity, you would have to make it equal on the other side as well.