Frontier Conference Honors Picone With Kenison Award
Athletic News Release | Lewis-Clark State College
WHITEFISH, Mont. – Former Lewis-Clark State College athletic director Gary Picone has been named the 2020 Frontier Conference’s recipient of the Ron “Swede” Kenison Award for his service, FC commissioner Kent Paulson announced Thursday.
The award was established by FC presidents, athletic directors and the commissioner to honor an individual for outstanding contributions that have been made to the conference over a long period of time.
Picone had two stints as athletic director at LC State and also was head baseball coach and a long-time assistant baseball coach at the college. He retired in 2017 but remains active with the college and serves on the Warrior Athletic Association Board of Directors.
“The Warrior family is very proud of Gary,” said Brooke Henze, who was assistant athletic director to Picone and then took over as AD when he retired. “LC State’s success today is directly related to Gary and the environment and people he assembled together throughout the years. “
Picone spent more than four decades at the LC State. He was recruited to the college in 1972 to play outfielder for coach Ramon Hooker. After a three-year career with the program, he joined the Warrior coaching staff and was a part of the 1976 team that was the first Warrior team to qualify for the NAIA World Series.
After leaving for three years, Picone returned to the Warrior coaching staff in 1983 as the pitching coach. He remained on coach Ed Cheff's staff until 1989 when he was named executive director of the British Columbia Amateur Baseball Association.
Picone returned to LC State in 1991 when he was named athletic director. He served in the position until 2001 when he was hired as an assistant baseball coach at Washington State University. He returned to LCSC as athletic director in 2006, and later served as both athletic director and head baseball coach during the 2011 and '12 seasons. He then hired Jeremiah Robbins as head baseball coach and returned to just AD duties.
While as athletic director, Picone helped the Avista -NAIA World Series return to Lewiston in 1999. He also secured a successful title partner in Avista Energy with the Avista NAIA World Series and led numerous capital improvement projects, among which was the 2017 installation of a new digital scoreboard, new grandstand seating and stadium façade.
Picone earned a number of national honors while at LC State. He was the 2017 winner of the NAIA Championship Legacy Award and was honored as the NAIA's Athletic Director of the Year in 2010. He also was named the NAIA's West Region's Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 2011.