Kevin Vest Obituary, TJC Athletic Director Has Sadly Passed Away – Death
Kevin Vest Obituary, Death – “My president, Dr. (Juan E.) Mejia, sent me a beautiful picture one night this week, and I wrote him back and said, ‘the ultimate tribute that I can give to Kevin is I’ve been at TJC now 24 years, 19 years as athletic director, and I feel like I’ve worked with him every single one of those years, and it was four,’” Dr. Tim Drain, TJC Student Affairs Associate Vice Provost. “He invested in this college, this town, and everything. His last name was Vest for a reason. He was really committed and loved this place.A friend from Illinois texted me this morning, saying he loved Tyler, the city, and the school. Thus, it is a great loss for me and our school. He was incredible. Working with him for four years was a privilege.”
Tuesday confirmed the death of Tyler Junior College Athletic Director Kevin Vest after a long battle with cancer. TJC wrote on Facebook and Twitter, “We mourn the passing of our Athletic Director, Kevin Vest, after his long battle with melanoma. We pray for his family and everybody he impacted during his distinguished career.” He was TJC’s fifth athletic director in 96 years.
Kevin passed us quietly last night with (daughter) Macey and me by his side, his wife Alicia wrote on CaringBridge. His freedom from pain, disease, and his body’s limits gives us relief. Every message was read to him. I believe he felt love’s embrace.” Vest became TJC athletic director in July 2019. The Apaches won eight national titles under him. Vest was named NACDA Athletics Director of the Year in 2021.
Dr. Howard Patterson, UT Tyler Vice President for Athletics, sent “our deepest condolences to the family of Kevin Vest as well as the Tyler Junior College campus community.” Patterson stated his thoughts and prayers are with Kevin Vest’s family and TJC. Kevin was a strong leader and friend. Kevin continued TJC’s junior college sports dominance after Tim Drain, a highly accomplished and well-liked AD. Kevin’s wit and collegiate sports passion will be missed. Our prayers are with Kevin and his family.” Patterson said that UT Tyler mourns a great leader and person with many other collegiate athletic departments.
He directed Waubonsee Community College athletics before TJC. Vest had been Sugar Grove, Illinois’ athletic director since 2016 and was Rock Valley College’s sports coordinator and head baseball coach for six years. He was the Frontier League Rockford Riverhawks bench coach and a Philadelphia Phillies associate scout at Rock Valley. After retiring from playing, Vest became an assistant coach at Illinois College and Knox College before becoming MacMurray College’s head coach. He was a Springfield College assistant.
Vest received his BA in physical education from Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, and his MA in organizational management from Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa. Vest served on the National Alliance of Two-Year Athletic Administrators’ executive committee, as NJCAA Region IV baseball chairman, and as a member of the National Association of College Director of Athletics. TJC hired Vest on Aug. 19, 2019. TJC has won 69 NJCAA national titles since 1946. The school earned eight national titles under Vest.