Sheahon Zenger

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Sheahon Zenger
Sheahon Zenger, Kansas.png
Biographical details
Born (1966-04-13) April 13, 1966 (age 53)
Salina, Kansas
Alma materKansas State University
University of Kansas
Playing career
1983–1984MidAmerica Nazarene
1985–1986Fort Hays State
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1988Drake (graduate asst.)
1989–1995Kansas State (recruiting coord.)
1996South Florida (recruiting coord.)
1997–2001Wyoming (recruiting coord./assist.)
2018-presentLawrence Free State High School (Kansas) (Linebackers)
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
2002–2005Kansas State (assistant AD)
2005–2010Illinois State

Sheahon Jay Zenger (born April 13, 1966) is an American former university sports administrator and an assistant American football coach. Zenger was most recently the athletic director at the University of Kansas, serving from 2011 to 2018.[1] He was previously the athletic director at Illinois State University.[2]


Early career[edit]

Zenger played football for MidAmerica Nazarene University for two years before finishing his football career at Fort Hays State University.[3] After the football season was over in 1986, Zenger transferred to Kansas State University where he graduated in 1987. Zenger then began his career in athletics as a recruiting coordinator for the Kansas State football team in 1988 while completing his master's degree.[4] He completed his doctorate from the University of Kansas in 1996.[5] Zenger later served as the recruiting coordinator at University of South Florida in 1996 and then moved to Wyoming for the same position, holding that position until 2001.[6] In 2001, Zenger moved back to Kansas to become the assistant athletic director for development at Kansas State University, a position he would hold from 2001 to 2004.[7]

Illinois State[edit]

In April 2005, Zenger was named the next athletic director at Illinois State University.[8] While at Illinois State, Zenger focused on athletes' academics increasing their grade point averages, resulting in more scholarship opportunities through donors.[9] Zenger also contracted with Nike and multi-million dollar renovations to athletic facilities.

University of Kansas[edit]

In January 2011, Zenger was named the next athletics director for the University of Kansas.[10] One month later on February 1, 2011, Zenger officially took over the Kansas Athletics Department after the school was battling a ticket scandal from former employees.[11] During his time at Kansas, Zenger has hired two football coaches, Charlie Weis and David Beaty in hopes to produce a winning program.[12] Since September 2017, Zenger has spearheaded a $350 million campaign to renovate Memorial Stadium and rename it to the "David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium",[13] after alumni David Booth pledged $50 million to the Athletics Department.[14] Zenger was fired on May 21, 2018 due to a "lack of progress" within the department.[15]

Lawrence Free State High School[edit]

A few weeks following his departure from the University of Kansas, Zenger joined the coaching staff at Lawrence Free State High School in Lawrence, Kansas, the same city that the University of Kansas calls home. Zenger was hired by LFSHS as their Linebackers coach. The Lawrence Free State Firebirds went 10–1 over the course of the 2018 football season, and ended the season as the 12th ranked team in the state of Kansas.


  1. ^ "Chancellor Girod fires KU Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger, citing lack of progress and necessary change in leadership". Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  2. ^ Keegan, Tom (January 3, 2011). "New KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger has deep local roots". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  3. ^ "Kansas welcomes Zenger into fold". Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "KU names Sheahon Zenger new athletic director". Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "Sheahon Zenger - Staff Directory - University of Kansas Athletics". Archived from the original on March 20, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  6. ^ Press, Associated. "Kansas hires Sheahon Zenger as AD". Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  7. ^ "KU welcomes new A.D. Sheahon Zenger". Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "Zenger Named Athletics Director - Illinois State University". Illinois State University. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  9. ^ "KU names Sheahon Zenger director of athletics - KU News". Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  10. ^ Draper, Bill (January 3, 2011). "Zenger leaves ISU, takes reins as new Kansas AD". Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  11. ^ "Charges brought in $2M theft of Kansas tickets". November 18, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  12. ^ "The mistakes, failures and possible success of Kansas AD Sheahon Zenger". Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  13. ^ "KU gets approval to rename football stadium to include major donor's name". Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  14. ^ "Largest gift in KAI history kicks off $350M campaign focused primarily on football". University of Kansas Athletics. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  15. ^ "Chancellor announces leadership change in Kansas Athletics". May 21, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2018.

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