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Redbirds’s New Deputy Director of Athletics Returns Home

Written by on October 11, 2023

Photo Courtesy of Redbird Athletics

NORMAL, Ill. – Paul Kabbes, who knows the Bloomington-Normal area well, will become the schools new Deputy Director of Athletics for External Operations at Illinois State University.

ISU Interim Director of Athletics Dr. Jeri Beggs made the announcement about the hiring.

“We are excited to welcome Paul and his family back to Illinois State,” Beggs said. “ He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience at some outstanding universities, and I can’t wait to see what he can accomplish here.”

Kabbes went to Highschool here in Bloomington-Normal, as he attended Central Catholic High school. And will now make his return after serving at different schools over the years but most recently Oral Roberts.

“I am honored to be coming home to join the team at Illinois State,” Kabbes said. “ Thank you to the search committee for all their work during this process, especially Dr. Jeri Beggs and Leanna Bordner. As an alum, I am aware of the immense potential surrounding ISU Athletics and look forward to working with Dr.Beggs to help bring success to the Redbirds. I look forward to getting to work in support of an incredible group of student-athletes, coaches and staff.”

Kabbes began his journey at Illinois Wesleyan University, getting a degree in business management from 2006 to 2010. He also was on the baseball team and won a National championship with the team in 2010. He then attended ISU and got his Master’s in sports management.

After getting his Masters he became a Graduate Assistant for Development with the Athletics Department from 2010 to 2012. He also was a Fundraising Intern for the Miracle League of Central Illinois, which is a non-profit organization that gives children with disabilities at chance to play baseball.

Kabbes then went to Birmingham to become the Associate Director of Development for the University of Alabama, where he served from 2012 to 2014. Following his time in Alabama he came back to Illinois to become the Associate Athletic Director for External Operations at the University of Illinois Springfield, where he from 2014 to 2017.

Following his time back in Illinois, Kabbes went to Louisiana Tech University to serve as there Associate Athletic Director for Development from 2017 to 2018, he then became the Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Operations from 2018 to 2021.

Most recently he went to Oral Roberts and served as their Deputy Athletic Director, where he served from 2021 to 2023. After his time in Tulsa, Oklahoma he came back home to Illinois State and became the school’s new Deputy Director of Athletics for External Operations.

He returns home with his wife Emily, along with their son Bennett, and daughter Mackenzie, and a third child coming in November.