Kim Abbott Stepping Down as CIU Athletics Director; Assistant AD James Whitaker Promoted
Kim Abbott is stepping down as athletics director of Columbia International University in December to give more attention and care to her elderly parents in Oklahoma.
Abbott made CIU history in 2010 when she became the school’s first athletics director. In 2012, CIU played its first intercollegiate athletics competition since the school was founded in 1923, adding men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross country and men’s and women’s basketball.
Abbott says her decision is primarily due to the health of her aging parents and desire to be more involved with them in this season of their lives.
“Because of my desire to give my time and attention to my parents, and because of the important nature of the job of athletics director, I need to step down and make sure I can focus on family matters,” Abbott said.
CIU President Dr. Bill Jones says Abbott has worked hard to initiate intercollegiate athletics at CIU and has been tireless and enthusiastic in her efforts.
“CIU owes her a debt of gratitude for all her work,” Jones said.
Meanwhile, Jones announced that CIU Assistant Athletics Director and Men’s Head Soccer Coach James Whitaker will become the new athletics director after Abbott’s departure. Before coming to CIU, Whitaker served as athletics director at Clearwater Christian College.
“James Whitaker brings experience as a coach and athletics administrator as well as a strong commitment to CIU to this position,” Jones said. “We look forward to his continuing impact on the development of intercollegiate athletics at CIU.”
Jones says a search will soon be underway for a new men’s head soccer coach.