Kathleen J. DeBoer's Biography


Kathleen DeBoer is currently the Executive Director of the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). The AVCA is a member-funded, non-profit organization that advocates for the sport at all levels by providing training, awards programs, programming and publications that serve the volleyball coaching community.

Prior to her AVCA appointment, DeBoer spent three years as the Commissioner of General Services for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. In that capacity she managed a $25 million budget, 375 employees, and oversaw the Divisions of Parks and Recreation, Building Maintenance and Construction, and Fleet Services. DeBoer reorganized General Services resulting in a savings of $700,000 annually. She is also the architect of an $800,000 public/private partnership called the Tubby’s Clubhouse/Dell TechKnow project. The program, funded in part by the Tubby Smith Foundation and Dell, Inc., provides computer equipment and training to underserved populations in Lexington’s Community Centers.

Before her government work, DeBoer spent twenty-three years in intercollegiate athletics serving as a coach, administrator and fundraiser. She spent eighteen years at the University of Kentucky, finishing her career as the Senior Associate Athletics Director. In that capacity DeBoer directed a $30 million capital campaign and raised over $10 million in private gifts to build an academic center, a softball/soccer complex, an outdoor tennis stadium and a football offices complex. She was the creator of the endowment seat program accumulating $3.5 million in endowment money for student-athlete scholarships, and the “Eruption Zone,” a section of Rupp Arena that increased student access and participation at basketball games. DeBoer also oversaw the Blue and White Fund, increasing annual giving from $2 million per year to $5 million per year.

From 1999 to 2002, DeBoer served as the Southeastern Conference representative to the NCAA Division I Management Council. From 1997 to 1999 she was the chair of the Finance Committee of the NCAA Division I Business and Finance Cabinet.

Prior to her administrative career, DeBoer spent thirteen years coaching volleyball. In her nine years as Kentucky’s head coach the Wildcats compiled a 212-96 record, won three Southeastern Conference Championships, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times. In 1987, DeBoer was named National Coach of the Year. From 1980 – 1983 she coached the Ferris State University volleyball team to three conference championships and two NCAA appearances.

From 1988 to 1996 DeBoer served as an advisor to the USA Women’s National Team. She was part of the coaching staff for three Olympic Sports Festival Teams and the 1989 World University Games Team. She assisted with the 1993 Grand Prix in Seoul, South Korea, the 1994 World Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil and the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.

From 1978 – 1980 DeBoer played two years of basketball in the Women’s Basketball League, one of the first professional leagues for women in the United States. While competing at Michigan State University she was a finalist for the Wade Trophy, the highest award given annually in women’s basketball. Michigan State University honored DeBoer with the Nell Jackson Outstanding Alumna Award in 1989 and the Alumna Scholar Athlete Award in 1999.

DeBoer is a nationally known public speaker on the impact of gender on competitive behavior. She also does popular programs on motivation, teamwork and 21st century leadership. She has written extensively on issues of competition, gender, coaching, and intercollegiate athletics. Her articles have appeared in The NCAA News, the National Federation News, Women in Higher Education, Coaching Volleyball, Coaching Women’s Basketball, and The Soccer Journal. She has authored book chapters for a sports medicine text entitled The Female Athlete and USA Volleyball’s Annual Manual. She also has produced numerous videotapes on volleyball skill development and coaching. Her first book, Gender and Competition: How Men and Women Approach Work and Play Differently, was published by Coaches Choice in 2004.

She has a B.A. in Humanities from Michigan State University (1978) and her M.B.A. from the University of Kentucky (1988). She is married to Mark Pittman and resides in Lexington, Kentucky.

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