Two Big 12 athletic directors – John Currie at Kansas State and Joe Castiglione of Oklahoma – received national recognition recently as two of the best at their jobs as the 2012-13 college sports season nears the finish line.
Currie, who was named director of athletics at Kansas State in 2009, was named an FBS Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year, one of four such awards conferred on athletics directors at FBS schools by the National Association of College Directors of Athletics at that group’s annual convention this week in Orlando, Fla.
The award to Curries comes following a banner athletic year for Kansas State. The Wildcats were co-champions in both football and basketball and regular-season conference champions in baseball, as well, their first league title in baseball in 80 years. K-State also ia the only Big 12 school to have conference coaches of the year in football, basketball and baseball, the three major college sports, in the same year. Only four BCS schools across the country have won championships in those three sports in the same year since 1998.
“John’s outstanding leadership the past four years has resulted in the recognition of K-State having a model intercollegiate athletics program,” Kansas State President Kirk Schulz said.
Oklahoma’s Castiglione received the 2013 John L. Toner Award, presented by the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame. The Toner Award is given annually to an athletic director who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and, as the award’s sponsorship suggests, especially college football.
Castiglione is completing his 15th years as athletic director at the University of Oklahoma. Over that time, he has made OU one of the few NCAA Division 1 programs in the country that is completely self-sustaining and produces more revenue that its expense outgo. The OU athletic programs annually contributes more than $8 million in surplus the the school’s overall athletic budget, according to school officials.
While Castiglione has been the AD at OU, the Sooners have won seven national championships and more than 60 Big 12 titles.
Castiglione was the 2009 National Athletic Director of the Year by the Sports Business Journal and, in 2004, he was the Bobby Dodd Foundation Athletics Director of the Year.
In addition to his job at Oklahoma, Castiglione, who was the athletic director at the University of Missouri, before coming to OU, serves on a number of outside boards. These include the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, the NCAA Bowl Licensing Committee and the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Committee.