clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Oklahoma Sooners Football: Joe Castiglione voted best AD in the country by peers and media

New, 1 comment

Since 1998, Joe Castiglione has built something that all Oklahoma fans and alumni can be proud of.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Basketball: Final Four-Mark Emmert Press Conference Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

According to a survey conducted by Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman, University of Oklahoma director of athletics Joe Castiglione is considered to be the nation’s top athletic director by both the media and fellow ADs. Castiglione has been Oklahoma’s AD since 1998 and hired legendary head football coach Bob Stoops just months after he arrived on campus.

When asked what makes Castiglione such a good AD, one media member had the following to say:

“Good outward reputation and has both maintained and built within the department, with a good number of sports finding consistent success. Seems to be a quality fund-raiser as well—especially important with the resources available at their in-state rival school.”

When asked the same question, a fellow AD made the following comment:

“I don’t know anybody that says a bad word about Joe Castiglione and the amount of success they’ve had one and off the field, and what they’ve done there since he’s been there is remarkable.”

Other notable athletic directors who made the list include Michigan State’s Mark Hollis, Alabama’s Greg Byrnes and Arkansas’ Jeff Long.

Since Castiglione took over for Steve Owens in 1998, OU’s athletic programs have been solid across the board and superb in many areas. His decision to hire Bob Stoops in 1998 proved to be a home run, and the positive impact of the move is still felt in the very big way. The hire of Stoops not only brought the football program back from the dead, but it ended up benefitting the university as a whole profoundly. Castiglione has also done a fantastic job connecting with fans and alumni since taking over, and he’s helped bring in some very generous donations that have drastically improved Oklahoma’s facilities not only for football, but for all sports.

During his tenure, the Oklahoma Sooners have won national championships in football (2000), softball (2000, 2013, 2016, 2017), men’s gymnastics (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2015, 2016, 2017), women’s gymnastics (2014, 2016, 2017) and men’s golf (2017) along with dozens of conference championships across all sports.

Perhaps as important as anything is how he’s molded the perception of Oklahoma Athletics. It’s regarded as a top-notch operation not only because of the success of the programs, but because of how the department project outwardly. His calm and collected demeanor while addressing the media and the public has always been reassuring, and the department’s efforts in marketing, PR and other areas have often received high praise.

Another thing that contributes to the department’s positive perception is the fact that Castiglione has formed such strong relationships with president David Boren and others within the university and department. At most schools, you hear rumors and rumblings of dysfunction, but those things are basically nonexistent at Oklahoma. When combining all of that with the fact that Oklahoma’s programs have consistently performed well during his long tenure, there’s definitely a perception of stability that just isn’t found in other departments across the country. The University of Oklahoma is beyond fortunate to have him as its AD, and I think we all hope that he sticks around for a long, long time.