Campus News

UB Athletics’ Twist announces retirement

Kathy Twist.

Kathy Twist plans to retire, effective July 31, after more than two decades in UB Athletics. Photo: Paul Hokanson/UB Bulls

UB ATHLETICS

Published July 3, 2019

“It is with a deep gratitude that I thank my student-athletes, co-workers, alumni, administrators and Buffalo community for my incredible 23-year experience at UB.”
Kathy Twist, senior associate AD and senior woman administrator
UB Athletics

Kathy Twist, senior associate athletic director for sports administration and senior woman administrator, has announced her retirement, effective July 31. A mainstay at UB for 23 years, Twist has made an impact on hundreds of student-athletes, first as a coach and most recently as an administrator.

“It is with a deep gratitude that I thank my student-athletes, co-workers, alumni, administrators and the Buffalo community for my incredible 23-year experience at UB,” Twist said.

“We have worked together to give our student-athletes a first-rate education, win more championships and build top-notch facilities. What has augmented this success is our diversity and inclusion and mental health initiatives,” she said. “Through our hard work, collaboration and courage, UB has become a pioneer in these areas. It is my hope that our work to respect, appreciate and give everyone a sense of belonging will continue.

“Lastly, to my student-athletes, thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you,” she added. “It was in serving you that I found my greatest joy. Go Bulls!”

In her current role, Twist served as sports supervisor for men’s and women’s tennis, women’s soccer, track and field, cross country, volleyball and softball. In addition, she was responsible for gender equity, diversity and inclusion within the Department of Athletics. Twist was an integral part in UB Athletics receiving the NCAA and Minority Opportunities Athletics Association’s 2018 Award for Diversity and Inclusion, a recognition of the department’s impactful initiatives aimed at creating an inclusive environment in athletics, on campus and in the community.

Kathy Twist cheers on the men's basketball team during the March 2018 NCAA Tournament in Boise, ID.

Kathy Twist cheers on the men's basketball team during the March 2018 NCAA Tournament in Boise, ID. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

“Kathy has been a positive figure in the college athletics landscape for a long time, first as a head coach and most recently as an administrator,” said Director of Athletics Mark Alnutt. “Her contributions to the University at Buffalo, the Mid-American Conference and nationally are too many to name. Kathy will always be a great friend and colleague, and I want to wish her the very best as she begins a new chapter in her life.”

Twist served as UB’s interim athletics director from late January until mid-April 2018, prior to the hiring of Alnutt. During her time as interim AD, Buffalo experienced one of its most successful runs, which included women’s basketball advancing to its first Sweet Sixteen in school history. Meanwhile, the men’s basketball team won its third MAC Championship in four years, and captured its first-ever NCAA Tournament win with an 89-68 victory over PAC-12 champion Arizona.

Kathy Twist poses with members of the UB women's volleyball team, who go into fourth- and sixth-grade classrooms to connect with younger students.

Kathy Twist poses with members of the UB women’s volleyball team, who go into fourth- and sixth-grade classrooms to connect with younger students. Photo: Meredith Forrest Kulwicki

A dedicated UB citizen, Twist has served on numerous university-level committees over the years. A Buffalo native, she is also very active in the community, serving as a member of the Sports Advisory Council for the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission.

Prior to her administrative role, Twist served as the women’s tennis coach at UB for 16 seasons and spent one year as an assistant on the men’s staff. For her service to the Western New York tennis community, Twist was inducted into the Buffalo Tennis Hall of Fame in 2014.

During her tenure at the helm of the women’s tennis program, Twist led the Bulls to their first postseason MAC Championship in 2008 and UB’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Twist joined UB in 1994 as assistant women’s coach before moving over to the men’s program the following year. With 136 career dual-match wins, she is the winningest coach in the program’s history of more than 30 years.

In 2002, Twist was selected as the PTR-Eastern Coach of the Year by the Eastern Section of the Professional Tennis Registry. The award, one of the most prestigious given by the PTR, recognizes organization members who have demonstrated the highest standards in the coaching of players or teams in their accomplishments and character. Twist’s overall tennis and coaching philosophy of developing athletes into not only top players, but also outstanding citizens, helped her earn the annual recognition from the organization.

Twist has a lifelong history in athletics. She played first singles and doubles for four years at D’Youville College in Buffalo, where she held the remarkable record of losing only one singles match in her entire career. She captained the tennis and basketball teams, and was listed in the “Who’s Who At American Universities” from 1972-74.

A 1974 graduate of D’Youville, Twist put her nursing degree to use working as a registered nurse at various Buffalo hospitals for 18 years. She began her college coaching career in 1975 at D’Youville.

Twist has worked as a tennis instructor for the Buffalo Parks Department and has served as a teaching professional at several area tennis clubs.

READER COMMENT

Congratulations to Kathy! She is the epitome of what we in education strive to be: a consummate professional, an effective administrator, a collaborative colleague who always, always puts the well-being of her students first. Thank you, thank you for your leadership, especially in pioneering the Sports Law externship with the Athletic Department. It has been an honor to work with you.

Nellie Drew