Inaugural Varsity Club event brings dozens to campus for cookout

Varsity Club EventOwls and Hornets from various eras – comprised of alumni, along with former student-athletes, coaches, athletic staff and administrators from both Kennesaw State University and Southern Polytechnic State University – gathered the afternoon of Saturday, March 25 for the inaugural Varsity Club event, a cookout as KSU hosted a baseball doubleheader with Canisius College.

Under the direction of Scott Whitlock, senior associate athletics director, the new Kennesaw State Athletic Association’s Varsity Club aims to embrace the legacies of intercollegiate athletics at KSU and Southern Polytechnic. Both Kennesaw State and Southern Poly have strong athletic histories and the Varsity Club was formed to honor those incredible traditions. All former student-athletes, coaches, athletic staff and administrators from KSU and/or SPSU are automatically considered members of the Varsity Club. Currently, there are plans to have two on-campus Varsity Club events every year, one each in the spring and fall.

“It was wonderful to see all of the former Owls and Hornets come to campus,” Whitlock said. “March 25th was the first step in a journey that will see us eventually weld two rich athletic legacies into one. I am grateful to all who came, and am hopeful that they enjoyed themselves and will spread the word about our Varsity Club.”     

Attending the Varsity Club’s first-ever event were past student-athletes and coaches from a variety of sports. Some attendees played or coached within the past couple of years while others date back to the 1970s. Among those in attendance were Anthony Lowdenback ’77, who played basketball at Southern Poly; Chip Reese, head baseball coach of the Owls from 1986-90; former Kennesaw State baseball players Cliff Brannon ’92, Don McKinlay ’93, Ron McKinlay ’93 and Bill Popp ’93; past KSU basketball standouts Israel Brown ’93 and Tony Williams ’96; Matt Griffin ’00, who was an athletic director, head baseball coach and student-athlete for the Hornets; and Audra Thomas ’01, a three-time All-American softball player for the Owls.

“It was particularly a treat to meet Southern Tech, as he referred to it, basketball alum Anthony Lowdenback, class of 1977,” Whitlock said. “He and his wife made the drive down from Easley, South Carolina, to be a part of our inaugural outing. We really appreciate that.”

In between games, Whitlock addressed the gathering of people, encouraging them to inform their former teammates, coaches, athletic staff and administrators from their times at Kennesaw State and/or SPSU about the Varsity Club. Vaughn Williams, KSU director of athletics since May 2011, also spoke.

In an effort to grow the Varsity Club, Whitlock is actively seeking up-to-date contact information for everyone who has been associated with Kennesaw State and/or Southern Poly athletics in the past. Whitlock can be reached by email at swhitloc@kennesaw.edu or phone at (470) 578-6284.

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