Lew Perkins joins USA Boxing board

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

When Lew Perkins’ time as athletic director at Kansas University ended in Sept., 2010, it was termed a “retirement,” but he hasn’t relegated himself to passing his days playing shuffle board.

Perkins, who resides in Lawrence with wife Gwen, recently accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors of USA Boxing, the governing body that oversees amateur boxing, including Gold Gloves and USA Olympic boxing.

Asked to characterize his knowledge of the sport, Perkins said, “Zero. I know nothing about boxing.”

He said he will be counted on to help in developing a marketing plan and in other strategic planning areas.

“Everybody on the committee has boxing experience except me,” Perkins said. “They’re looking for someone to help them administratively.”

Perkins said that there are 23,000 amateur boxers in the country, but that’s not the size of the pool from which the Olympic team will find its boxers.

“What’s happening, at least this is my perspective, a lot of the big promoters who promote pro boxing are taking kids at an early age, taking them out of amateur boxing and that’s what’s happening to Olympic boxing,” Perkins said. “That’s something the whole group is trying to figure out.”

Perkins also operates a consulting business, “The Lew Perkins Team,” used by athletic departments. Perkins also serves on the boards of the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence and Lawrence Country Club, where he golfs regularly.

“I think some people are surprised when a coach or administrator stays (in Lawrence),” Perkins said. “Why wouldn’t you stay here? It’s a great place. It’s a lot of fun. We have a lot of friends here. It’s easy to get to the airport for trips I make for my business. Why wouldn’t you stay?”