The National Collegiate Athletic Association's Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) recently awarded Dan Cunningham and Doug McCarty the Dr. Thomas Kearns Service Award for their roles in bringing two GLVC tournaments to the EastSide Centre in East Peoria.
Cunningham was an integral part of bringing the GLVC softball championship tournament to the EastSide Centre in 2004, and McCarty, who has played a role in the event since it began, also helped lure the GLVC volleyball championship tournament to EastSide Centre.
Both men will be formally recognized at the Enterprise Rent-A-Car GLVC Spring Awards Banquet in St. Louis on May 24.
Cunningham helped the league find a suitable facility to host an eight-team, double-elimination tournament in the community even though the GLVC does not have a member institution in East Peoria. As executive director for the EastSide Centre, he and his staff dedicated their efforts to ensuring that student athletes, coaches and fans had a positive experience at the site.
He also secured additional sponsorship funding to offset the cost of the GLVC softball awards banquet and helped league staff secure hotel accommodations for the participating teams.
The EastSide Centre has become synonymous with the GLVC softball tournament and has been a great neutral-site host for the championship each May. It is the longest-running neutral-site host for any GLVC championship event in the leagues 38-year history.
Cunningham currently oversees construction of the Louisville Slugger Complex. Following Cunningham’s departure from the EastSide Centre, McCarty stepped into the role of overseeing the venue and assisting the GLVC with two of its conference championships.
The GLVC Service Award is named in honor of Dr. Thomas Kearns, who was Northern Kentucky’s faculty athletic representative for 23 years.