(Courtesy of Kansas Athletics)
LAWRENCE, Kan. — In preparation for the 2020 football season, Kansas Athletics announced the hiring of Blake Kuenzi (pronounced KEN-ZEE) as Associate Director, Head Football Equipment Manager on Wednesday. Kuenzi holds nearly 20 years of experience in college athletics and replaces Jeff Himes, who retired in April after 32 seasons heading the equipment staff for the Jayhawk football program.
“We are very excited to welcome Blake into the Kansas football family,” Miles said. “Blake brings years of valuable experience in the Big 12 and I think he will transition nicely to our program.”
“It is a pleasure to welcome a trusted colleague of Blake’s experience to KU. His responsibilities at Oklahoma, as well as the projects with which he was involved at both OU and the XFL, will benefit our football program and equipment operations as a whole,” Assistant Athletics Director, Equipment Services, Larry Hare said. “Blake’s background in the conference and familiarity with its personnel and procedures are certainly an immediate advantage.”
Kuenzi most recently served as the head equipment manager for the XFL’s Dallas Renegades during the 2019-20 season, where he managed daily facility operations with Globe Life Park personnel and helped coordinate the renovation of Globe Life Park football operations to ensure functionality for XFL personnel.
While with the Renegades, Kuenzi maintained and supervised continuous inspection, care, maintenance, and repair of all athletic apparel, uniforms, and equipment and assisted in problem-solving of all equipment and apparel concerns for XFL personnel.
Prior to his time in the XFL, Kuenzi spent 18 years at the University of Oklahoma Athletic Department, most recently serving as the associate director of athletics equipment. In his role, Kuenzi assisted in the transition of the football program from Nike to one of only four Jordan brand college programs and helped establish the University of Oklahoma as a Nike Test School.
While at Oklahoma, Kuenzi managed budgets for the football, and men’s and women’s golf programs, while ensuring all equipment and apparel needs were met for his student-athletes. Kuenzi also supervised the OU student equipment manager program and graduate assistants for the football program.
A 2005 graduate from the University of Oklahoma, Kuenzi worked for the Oklahoma Athletics program as a student manager from 2001-05 and pursued his Master’s Degree in 2007, while serving as a graduate assistant. Kuenzi was then elevated to athletics equipment manager in 2007, assistant director of athletics equipment in 2011 and ultimately associate director of athletics equipment in 2013.
While at the University of Oklahoma, Kuenzi was on staff for eleven Big 12 football conference championships, two Big 12 softball championships, two Big 12 championships in men’s golf, one Big 12 Championship in women’s golf and a national championship in men’s golf. Kuenzi also worked directly with four Heisman Trophy winners and 30 plus All-American student-athletes across multiple sports.
Kuenzi began working with the program in June and arrives to Lawrence with his wife Emily, son Cooper, and daughter Kendall.