WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Kevin Saal was introduced as the new director of athletics at Wichita State this afternoon.

He came in and made sure he wanted everyone to know that he plans on being accountable, pursuing championships in every sport, and ensuring that every student-athlete gets what they need to succeed here at Wichita State.

"It's great to be home," Saal said as he approached the podium.

Saal takes over an athletic department that he's respected his whole life, he's a Manhattan native.

"There's so many great stories to tell about Wichita State University, its athletics program and the historical success and where we think this can go very, very exciting. The icing on the cake is having the opportunity to come home and be so close to family," Saal said. 

Saal knows what it takes to make an impact. 12 years in athletics in Kentucky plus guiding Murray State through two realignments has prepared him to put the Shockers in a place to succeed.

"If our aspiration is to win American Athletic Conference Championships, we don't need to be the nicest house in the neighborhood in terms of how we sit resource-wise, but we need to be in the neighborhood."

President Richard Muma knew this was the right fit early, transparency is a big key going forward for him. 

"What you see today is what you're gonna see tomorrow and the next day. Kevin really does have a great vision and is very, very, very excited about moving soccer nation forward," President Muma said. 

Saal has plenty of goals, one being to rejuvenate the fan base at Wichita State, a big part of that being the in-game experience for fans. 

"We've got to approach what we do day in and day out with great energy and enthusiasm. That's where it starts. We've got to show progress. We've got to be very transparent and honest with where we are and how we're progressing forward and what our goals are."

And the question everyone wants answers to - how the Shockers can get ahead of the game when it comes to NIL (name, image and likeness).

"We have got to maximize all of those areas for us to recruit and retain first-class student-athletes. And so that will be a very important part of what we do," Saal said. 

It's a new era and Saal wants to be open about what it takes to get Wichita State where it needs to be.

We need to be accessible. Accessibility is very, very important. And I'm okay having difficult conversations will have difficult conversations identifying our current state is a challenging conversation at times."

Saal will officially take over duties in mid-July and hopes to hit the ground running once on campus.