Kavanagh, Popple, Woodworth to be on Baseball Panel
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU director of athletics Ken Kavanagh, strength and conditioning coordinator Randy Popple and former FGCU starting pitcher Pete Woodworth will serve on the Future of Baseball panel on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at the WGCU Broadcast Building following a special preview of the new documentary, The Tenth Inning, beginning at 6 p.m.

Moderated by Tom James, the panel will also include Steven Gliner, the Executive Vice President/General Manager of the Fort Myers Miracles and cover such topics as the increasing dominance of Latino and Asian players, skyrocketing profits and the revelations of performance-enhancing drugs.

Kavanagh, who came to FGCU after 13 years at Bradley University, saw the Eagles win the Atlantic Sun regular season title in baseball and the CCSA Championship in women’s swimming and diving in his first year with FGCU. Under his watch, seven programs finished in the top three in the conference. FGCU student-athletes also excelled in the classroom, as the 240 student-athletes achieved a record 3.17 cumulative GPA for the year led by 10 teams with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. One of the founders of the I-AAA Athletic Directors’ Association (101 Division I institutions who do not sponsor football) in 2000-01, Kavanagh was recently named the First Vice-President for the organization after serving as the Third Vice-President in 2009-10.

In his fourth year, Popple oversees all aspects of strength and conditioning for every athletic team at FGCU. His duties include designing and implementing strength, conditioning and speed programs for all 14 FGCU athletic teams. Prior to working with the Eagles, he was the Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball Club. Popple held that post for nine seasons, from 1998 until 2006. The Twins won four Divisional Titles and appeared in the 2002 ALCS. He has also worked as an assistant at the University of Florida.

Former starting pitcher, Woodworth finished his first professional season with the Gulf Coast League (GCL) Rays. Woodworth finished his four-year career at FGCU with a 25-9 record to tie the program record for wins. He also finished second all-time in strikeouts with 261 behind teammate and current Chicago White Sox reliever Chris Sale (288). A native of Tampa, Fla., Woodworth worked 272.2 innings over 61 appearances, including 39 starts. Woodworth ranks in the top-3 in each of the previously mentioned stats.

Thousands of bats, three home run records and one "curse" have been broken since Ken Burns last explored the history of America's national pastime with his landmark 1994 PBS series BASEBALL. Now, Burns and co-director Lynn Novick bring the series up to the present with THE TENTH INNING. THE TENTH INNING premieres September 28, 2010 at 8 p.m. on WGCU-TV 30.1/Cable 3 & 440. Beginning with a crippling strike that alienated millions of fans and brought the game to the brink, this new film tells the tumultuous story of our national pastime up to the present. It celebrates baseball’s new Golden Age — an era of unprecedented home run totals, popularity and prosperity — and sheds light on one of the game’s darkest chapters — the steroid era.