Waples said he would officially retire June 30, 2011. Until then, Waples is assisting university president Dr. Daniel Papp with several athletic endeavors that includes working with Kennesaw State's Football Exploratory Committee headed by former UGA athletic director Vince Dooley, which is projected to report its findings to Papp in September. He also said he would help develop Kennesaw State's athletic association infrastructure.
"From the 15th of August to June 30, I'm going to be doing something that I just love," Waples said. "It's going to be football, or even if we don't get football, I'm going to be working on sport alternatives on campus. I can focus on one or two things rather than focusing on the entire department, so I haven't run out of energy."
Longtime KSU softball coach Scott Whitlock was named interim athletic director Monday, and Papp said the national search for Waples' replacement is expected to start in late 2010 or early 2011 after the university hires a new provost and vice president of academic affairs.
Kennesaw State's 33-member football exploratory committee headed by Dooley was formed last December and it was given a minimum of nine months to prepare a statement indicating whether football would be an appropriate step.
When contacted Monday night, one member of the exploratory committee said he believed nearly all the information regarding football had been received and the results are positive, but would not confirm that any decision on bringing the sport to KSU had been finalized and could not be made official until the necessary finances were completely in place.
When asked if Dooley would be candidate to succeed Waples, Papp said there wouldn't be any candidates until the national search is underway.
"I haven't talked with Coach Dooley about (the position)," Papp said. "But I did have lunch with Coach Dooley two weeks ago. I asked Coach Dooley what your committee is going to report and he said Dan, you will have to wait till early September."
The Football Exploratory Committee was one of several projects Waples, 68, helped orchestrate over the last two years. He saw his athletic department win six national championships during his 23-year tenure with the men's basketball team claiming a national prize in 2004.
The school had just built an 8,300-seat soccer stadium for its reining 2009 Atlantic Sun Conference champions and the Atlanta Beat. The Owls completed their four-year transition into Division I in 2009 and four KSU teams won conference championships the first year the university was eligible to compete in Division I tournaments.
During his 23-year tenure, Waples oversaw a program that won seven national championships, 26 regional championships, 40 Peach Belt championships and nine Atlantic Sun titles.
"Fortunately I'm going out at a good time, and I left the department in good shape," Waples said. "We've got a great replacement (in Whitlock). He's super and fantastic. I still plan to go to the games if I can get Coach Whitlock to give me some tickets - you know I'm kidding.
"I'm not going to do anything that will inhibit his directorship. He can call on me any time he wants to, but I'm really looking forward to doing this other stuff."
Whitlock, who has coached softball and women's basketball at Kennesaw State for more than two decades, brings experience to the position, having served as senior associate athletic director for six years. He secured his 1,000th career victory as head softball coach in 2008 and led softball to national titles in 1995 and 1996.
"For over 25 years, this athletic department has been my home," Whitlock said. "I love this place, and it's an honor each and every day I walk through the door here.
"The main thing again, I want to make sure the experience the student athletes have is great here. I want them to represent us well on the fields, on the courts and on the tracks. As far as other goals, I want help the department move forward and be ready to react to the decision Coach Dooley's committee bring back in the fall."