Connor J. Whelan, ’16, Outstanding New Professional Award Recipient 2019


“I would like to be remembered as someone who cared about student-athlete welfare. Joel Nielson, Kent State University Director of Athletics, gave me time in his office when I was a student, and I would like to be able to help and guide student-athletes in that way.”

Connor J. Whelan, ’16, enters his second year as director of marketing and external engagement with the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, serving as the primary marketing contact for the football and men’s basketball programs. Whelan joined the Ragin’ Cajuns from the University of Arkansas, where he served as a marketing associate from 2016 to 2018.

In his first year at Louisiana, Whelan oversaw a 15% increase in football attendance, including a top 15 all-time crowd at Cajun Field (28,866; vs. Grambling, Sept. 1, 2018). The men’s basketball program also posted the largest increase in season ticket sales in five seasons.

Additionally, Whelan served as the primary baseball contact for the 2018 season, helping the program achieve three of the top 10 recorded attendances in the history of M.L. Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park. The Ragin' Cajuns ranked in the top 10 nationally for attendance with their 2018 campaign.

While a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Whelan earned a Bachelor Degree in Sports Management from Kent State University in 2016. He was a student-athlete during his time at Kent State, running for the Golden Flashes’ cross country and track and field programs. He earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arkansas in 2018 and has since been proud to watch the Ragin’ Cajuns athletic programs grow and thrive through his marketing efforts.