KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lew Perkins, the former athletic director at the University of Kansas, died on Tuesday, Kansas Athletics announced. He was 78.
Perkins arrived at KU in 2003 after previously serving as the athletic director of the University of Connecticut. He served as KU's athletic director until 2011.
Under Perkins' leadership, KU's football team won consecutive bowl games and a school-record 12 wins in 2008.
“Lew did a lot of good things in his time here at KU,” KU men's basketball coach Bill Self said. “He was a big contributor in us changing the mindset of the athletic department and also competing for championships on a more consistent level. Our hearts go out to Gwen and the family. The one thing I will remember most about Lew was he always put the student-athletes first, and the student-athletes that got to know him well, all loved him.”
The KU men's basketball team also won the 2008 NCAA National Championship under Perkins' leadership.
“Lew made an indelible impact on Kansas Athletics and served his role at KU with passion and vigor on a daily basis,” KU athletic director Travis Goff said. “We will forever be grateful for his dedication to this university and athletic department. We are thinking of Lew’s amazing family during this time and sending our deepest thoughts and sympathies.”