Kyle B. Kallander, Commissioner
Kyle B. Kallander is in his 18th year as Big South Conference Commissioner in 2013-14, a tenure that has seen year-to-year growth in marketing and television, an enhanced Internet presence as well as unparalleled success on the field and in the classroom.
Kallander's development of a long-term strategic plan, which allows the Big South to position itself as unique amongst its peers, brought football to the Big South as the 18th Conference sport in 2002 as well as women's lacrosse last season. He has solidified membership to an all-time high 12 institutions with the additions of High Point, VMI, Gardner-Webb, Presbyterian College and Longwood -- as well as the return of charter member Campbell University in 2011. Kallander's vision includes increases in the League's television exposure for several sports through strong partnerships with regional and national outlets, and the spearheading of video streaming of Big South games and events on the League's website, which began in 2005-06 and now features more than 900 events annually. This aggressive commitment to digital technology includes HD content and a new free-viewing model on the Big South Network.
Kallander has presided over some of the most pivotal events in the League's entire history both athletically and academically. During his tenure, the Big South has:
- Reached the NCAA "Sweet 16" in men's soccer, women's basketball and baseball;
- Has had six individual National Champions;
- Had its first All-Americans in men's and women's cross country;
- Had a Big South-record 13 student-athletes achieve Academic All-America status in 2003-04;
- Had an individual reach the round of 32 in the NCAA Men's Singles Championship (Radford's Martin Sayer);
- Has started football and reached the FCS playoffs in five years and eventually gaining an automatic bid to the football postseason;
- Had two teams reach FCS playoffs in same year for the first time in 2012, with both teams advancing to the second round;
- Had its first-ever national finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year (Winthrop's Janiva Willis);
- Had members defeat the No. 1-ranked football and baseball team in the nation (Coastal Carolina football vs. James Madison, Winthrop and Coastal Carolina baseball vs. North Carolina, and VMI baseball vs. Virginia);
- Had its first-ever NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament first round win (Winthrop);
- Had its first-ever berth in the NCAA Baseball Super Regionals (Coastal Carolina);
- Has placed two teams in the NCAA Baseball Regionals six times;
- Has had a baseball team earn a No. 1 seed and host an NCAA Regional and Super Regional (Coastal Carolina);
- Had its highest-ever team finish in an NCAA event (Coastal Carolina men's golf, fifth in 2007);
- Has had women's basketball, men's soccer, softball, baseball, women's soccer, volleyball and women's lacrosse televised for the first time;
- Has had a softball team reach the Regional Championship game twice (Winthrop and Radford);
- Had its first women's golf team advance to the NCAA Championship (Coastal Carolina);
- Had a League-record 42 student-athletes earn All-America distinction in 2011-12;
- Saw seven programs receive at-large postseason berths in 2012-13;
- And has utilized live video streaming of Conference events to elevate the League's exposure to new audiences via the newly integrated Big South Network
The Conference has produced more All-Americans since Kallander took office, while increasing its share of Academic All-Americans and All-District selections. More than 40 percent of the League's student-athletes have achieved at least a 3.0 grade point average the last eight years -- including four-straight years at or above 45 percent, while several student-athletes have been recipients of various Postgraduate Scholarships during his timeframe. Kallander has also successfully integrated the Conference's profile with the member institutions' general student body, notably through the development of the Big South Academic Consortium, which sponsors the annual Academic College Bowl among League members and the Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium. Furthermore, the Big South began offering one male and one female graduating student-athlete a Graduate Fellowship for postgraduate studies in 2006.
Named the Big South's third commissioner on June 24, 1996, Kallander formed the Big South Marketing Group (BSMG) upon his arrival, a partnership with member institutions that enables the Conference to develop an integrated marketing strategy and offer comprehensive corporate partnership packages. More recently, the Big South Business Group (BSBG) was created, involving the Chief Financial Officers from each member institution. The BSBG explores ways that members can benefit through working together and with Conference corporate partners. Kallander has overseen a revision of the League's governance structure and has been instrumental in securing record sponsorship revenues in the past decade, and has been innovative in developing and executing a public relations plan for the Big South, which has resulted in increased exposure, both on a regional and national level. On the field, the Conference has added four Championship sports under Kallander -- men's and women's indoor track & field, football and women's lacrosse.
Nationally, Kallander has been heavily involved in several organizations and committees. He served on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee and was Chair for the 2011-12 season. He also previously served on the NCAA/USOC Task Force, which examined the decline of Olympic sports programs at the nation's college and universities, chaired the NCAA Olympic Sports Liaison Committee, and served on the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics.
As a testament to his leadership, Kallander continues to secure aggressive television packages through relationships with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) and ESPN/ESPNU/ESPN3. The partnerships have brought the Big South new and enhanced television exposure for its member institutions and student-athletes, and coupled with the Conference's online channel, the Big South Network, the League's exposure is now seen by a worldwide audience. Kallander successfully negotiated a seven-year TV deal with ESPN through 2019, which will expand the number of Big South events on ESPN platforms. Under the agreement, an average total of 62 Big South events will air annually on ESPN outlets, including a minimum 50 exclusive events on ESPN3. In addition, ESPNU will now televise six events per season. At least 417 Conference events will appear on ESPN platforms during the life of the deal.
Kallander came to the Big South after serving as Southwest Conference Commissioner during the 1995-96 season. Under his guidance, the Southwest generated more than $22 million in revenue, an all-time record. Kallander was also directly responsible for negotiating and implementing television agreements with CBS, Raycom and Prime Sports Southwest for the 1995-96 football and basketball seasons. He successfully administered the league's postseason basketball tournaments, which attracted its largest attendance since 1990, and also served as Tournament Director for the 1996 NCAA Men's Basketball Midwest Region First and Second Round Games in Dallas.
Kallander began his collegiate athletics career at his alma mater, the University of Washington, in 1985, where he served as Director of Advertising & Promotions, as well as the Director of Compliance, before joining the Southwest Conference in 1992 as Assistant Commissioner.
Kallander received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physical Education in 1980, and a Master of Science Degree in Kinesiology in 1982, from Washington. He is married to the former Lisa Dallosto and has two children, Stefan, 23, and Tristan, 20.