Stan Wagnon named UCO Athletic Director

UCO Athletics
Chris Brannick, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations

EDMOND – The University of Central Oklahoma announced Monday a special homecoming in the works as Stan Wagnon – following in the footsteps of his father – will be named Athletic Director effective Aug. 24.

“I am happy to announce that Stan Wagnon will be joining us as our new Athletic Director,” UCO President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar said. “Stan is a long-time Broncho and has a love for UCO that runs deep.  His leadership and energy are going to inject our athletic department with excitement and pride.”

Wagnon, an Edmond native, earned his bachelor’s degree from Central in 1995. His father (Skip) served as director of athletics from 1986-2003 following a 15-year stint as head athletic trainer.

“As I think about UCO athletics and my story it really was my first love growing up,” Wagnon said. “I didn’t want anything else than to see the Bronchos play. To be able to go to school there and start working there as a student and then to go off in my career and learn everything that I did and now, to be able to come back and apply all that. This means so much to me and my family. To me, to my wife, to all of my family. This is very special and I’m looking forward to it.

“To have had the opportunity to work in the athletic department as a student in the sports information office,” Wagnon said. “That opportunity really set the stage for me professionally. I learned how to tell the story of the student-athlete. And that has been a big part of my career. I look forward to working with the student-athletes at UCO and I hope to give them every opportunity I had to be a part of something special and to be a part of something that gives them a head start in life.”

An introductory press conference will be planned for later this month.

Wagnon returns to UCO after a 25-plus year career in athletics. After working in the UCO sports information office as a student, Wagnon had stints in the same role at Midwestern State, where he received his master’s degree, and Tarleton State.

Wagnon moved from Tarleton to the NCAA Division II’s Lone Star Conference office and eventually served as commissioner. He spent 11 years in that role before moving to the same post at the NAIA’s Sooner Athletic Conference, where he has served since July 2016.

Wagnon is active in the NAIA governance as a member of the Conference Commissioners Association (CCA). Currently he is serving as Vice Chair of the Council for Student-Athletes, as well as a member of the National Coordinating Committee and NAIA Student-Athlete Experience Task Force. At the SAC, Wagnon has grown the league’s membership, offered new conference championships, and developed a corporate partnership program.

At the Lone Star Conference, Wagnon’s most noteworthy accomplishment was creation of the Lone Star Football Festival, held annually at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The event generated nearly a half-million dollars back to the conference office.

Throughout his career, Wagnon has emerged as a national leader in intercollegiate athletics. He has served as Chair of the NCAA Division II Nominating Committee and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Regional Advisory Committee. He also served on committees for the D2 CCA and College Sports Information Directors of Association (CoSIDA).

Wagnon grew up on the campus of Central Oklahoma. He was a ball boy at basketball games. He fondly recalls high-fiving football players in the locker rooms after games. He imitated them and other Broncho standouts while playing ball in the yard as a kid (and said UCO won every game). Such was the life of the athletic director’s son.

Skip Wagnon, who was also a highly successful golf coach at Central and led the team to eight national tournament appearances, passed away in 2015 and Stan, with the help of a few others, organized “The Skipper,” an annual fundraiser golf tournament in honor of his father. Proceeds go directly to UCO athletics. This year’s event, scheduled for Oct. 7 in Edmond, will be the sixth annual edition.

Wagnon is married (Jill) and has three children (Abby, Macy, and Knox).