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January 2014

Steven Arthur Kinney '98, '02


Steve KinneyNotre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) athletic department began a new era this month when Steven Arthur Kinney '98, '02 was named Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR). He will act as a liaison between the faculty and the Athletics Department. He is also the liaison between the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) and the university.

"A lot of it comes to the interpretation of the rules and bylaws the athletic department has to adhere to," said Kinney. "In regards to my FAR position, there seems to be a break down between the academic side of the university and the athletic side. What we are trying to do is bridge that gap. There is a lot expected of the student-athlete with practice times and academic rigor."

According to Athletic Director Josh Doody, Kinney is suited for this position on several levels including his focus and his strong background with the university. "He understands the stresses and demands that are being placed on our student-athletes. He will help our student-athletes manage these demands and also help convey to the faculty what assistance that they may need in the future. He will also help the Athletic Department understand what concerns the faculty have in regards to our student-athletes."

Kinney may be new to the FAR position, but the Adjunct English Instructor has had a long history with the university starting as late as 1993. "I came back to school as a student and picked up my undergraduate and master's degree in English. Afterwards I was asked to join the Alumni Board Council and the school's Board of Trustees."

But before he began his academic career, Kinney spent a brief stint playing football with the Washington Redskins. But he is better known for his time spent as a former Chicago Bears football tackle player in the National Football League (NFL) from 1972 to 1975. He is the NFL Alumni, President of the Northern California Chapter.

After retiring from football, the San Jose native returned to the Bay Area looking for a place he could find some solace and a different kind of connection. He says he found it at (formerly named) College of Notre Dame.

"The school became more of a sanctuary, a place where can I study in peace, be myself, and connect with my instructors," said Kinney. "The small class sizes allowed me to immerse myself into the academics."

Steve Kinney

Steve Kinney with Alumni Director Elizabeth Valente

Kinney is looking to use that same experience with the students he teaches, and those who are in the Athletic Department. "I know from experience that athletes pick up certain skills that are transferable from the field to everyday life. Skills such as time management, career development, and communication - all of these are very necessary to be successful in society. First we need to get the student-athletes comfortable leaving their 'gym' environment and have them understand what the other side of college life is like."

Doody adds that Kinney also brings a sense of athletic recognition to the university and to the students an attitude about winning with integrity. "It is great public relations for the school, and for our students it will help them have a realistic grasp of what they will need to accomplish to be successful on the field of competition and after school is completed, to fulfill the goals that our student-athletes might have."

As for 'winning,' it seems like NDNU has once again scored a touchdown, with Kinney. "I am excited, deeply humbled and honored to be joining NDNU," Kinney said.

This 'Ol Bear,' as he refers to himself, still gets recognized and admired daily as the almighty #63 football player for the Chicago Bears. His predications for this year's NFL Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, February 2, Seahawks vs. Bronco's: "Since the 49ers are not in it, I have the sentiment for Peyton Manning and would want to see him win another Super Bowl – take his rightful place in the hall of multi-SuperBowl winners."

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The Notre Dame de Namur University Alumni Newsletter is published by the Alumni Relations Office.
Elizabeth Valente, Director of Alumni Relations, Editor.

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