OKLAHOMA ATHLETICS DIRECTOR
As you look across the landscape of intercollegiate
athletics, you would be hard pressed to find an athletics
administrator who has experienced the long-term success
at a legendary program that Joe Castiglione has had at the
University of Oklahoma.
He knew the success of the Sooners first hand because of
his time at another Big Eight/Big 12 program. That success
might have kept others from stepping into the job. The efforts
to find stability and direction at OU would have kept others
away. Castiglione, in his standard style, welcomed both —
the decades of excellence and the challenge to return to that
success. After 21 years, few have experienced the success
Castiglione and the Sooners have enjoyed together.
The OU Athletics Department he leads today hardly
resembles the one that welcomed him in July of 1998. OU
has won 19 national championships, half of the all-time
Vice President and Director of
university total. He has celebrated 92 conference titles in that same time period. It’s more than success
that sets his tenure apart — it is the consistency of that success that makes the department stand apart
Castiglione inherited one of the most storied programs in college athletics but there had been some
challenges to that reputation. He went to work by creating a positive culture that emphasized core values,
a dynamic mission and a collaborative spirit. The goal has been to create the “destination of choice” and
a world-class experience for student-athlete development.
The 2018-19 school year yielded another accomplished campaign in school history with one national
championship, four conference titles, a Heisman Trophy winner, three NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
honorees, a Nissen Emery men’s gymnastics award winner, as well as the honorees for the 2019 NCAA
Inspiration Award, two Wilma Rudolph Awards from the N4A and a CoSIDA Academic All-American,
keeping alive an 18-year streak. The year also saw all-time program best numbers for the IA FAR
Academic Excellence Award and Dr. Gerald Lage Award, the Big 12’s highest academic honor.
Women’s gymnastics won its fourth national title and the Sooner softball team joined the OU men
gymnastics squad as a national runner-up. The football team finished fourth while the men’s golf team
added a fifth-place finish. The title won by the women’s gymnastics team extended OU’s streak of at least
one national title to seven years.
The Learfield Director’s Cup recognizes overall program excellence. Evidence of OU’s commitment to
program excellence since Castiglione’s arrival is that in 17 of his 21 years, the Sooners have ranked in
the top 25. A total of 14 of the 21 sport teams in 2018-19 sent the full team or individuals to an NCAA
GPA numbers and graduation rates continue to set program records. The 2019 spring semester marked the
15th consecutive that the student-athletes as a group recorded a 3.00 or better GPA, and graduation rates
continue to be among the country’s best.
The 11th and second longest serving director of athletics at OU joined the staff in July 1998. Castiglione
created a team of administrators, coaches and support staff who pursue and achieve lofty goals under the
banner of ethical integrity. The student-athlete is the daily priority for department staff and that focus is
reflected in the program’s success.
A place where competitive dreams come true and overall excellence is the expectation, not the exception,
is part of a values-focused culture led by Castiglione with the full support of OU’s Board of Regents and
OU Athletics, one of the few remaining self-sustaining departments nationally, has closed the books
in the black in each of the last 20 years. Castiglione’s responsible approach has benefitted the general
campus. Through direct and indirect support, the athletics department provides more than $9 million
annually to OU’s academics budget. It also established an endowment at Bizzell Library and partnered
with the president’s office to eliminate the admission fee at OU’s internationally known Fred Jones Jr.
Museum of Art.
Facility improvement and construction of athletics facilities have been carried out at a record pace and
Castiglione takes pride in the fact that those improvements have been funded with private donations.
Castiglione was instrumental in the athletics department’s major campaign, Great Expectations: The
Campaign for Sooner Sports, that impacted each of OU’s 21 sports and became a national model for
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium underwent a $160 million renovation that included filling in
the bowl and creating new seating options for Sooner fans and new team facilities. Other improvements
completed and/or planned included the opening of the Griffin Family Performance Center for men’s and
women’s basketball at Lloyd Noble; a $25 million plan to build a new softball stadium; $15 million in
renovations at baseball; and new team facilities for gymnastics and tennis. The $75 million Headington
Hall provides housing for the general student population, as well as student-athletes. The state-of-theart
building opened in August 2013 and won the President’s Trophy as the outstanding housing unit four
times. It makes OU the leader in providing an engaging community living option for OU students.
Castiglione was named Co-National Athletic Director of the Year in May 2018 by Sports Business Journal.
He had won the award in 2009 and been a finalist in 2016. A survey conducted by Sports Illustrated in the
summer of 2017 named him the best athletics director in the country. Other awards he has received include
the 2018 Katha Quinn Award (U.S. Basketball Writers of America); 2018 induction into the Oklahoma
Sports Hall of Fame; the 2013 John L. Toner Award (National Football Foundation and College Hall of
Fame); Carl Maddox Sports Management Award (United States Sports Academy); Athletics Director of
the Year (Bobby Dodd Foundation); National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators Hall of
Fame; and the General Robert R. Neyland Athletic Director Award (All-American Football Foundation).
He completed a master’s of education degree in May 2007 and subsequently became an adjunct professor
in the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, teaching graduate classes in marketing, development and
leadership in higher education. He serves on the College’s Board of Advocates and received the “Award of
Distinction” given by the college in 2019. He was recognized for his distinguished service by OU’s College
of Arts and Sciences, and was named a Price College Distinguished Partner in 2018.
Hired on April 30, 1998, Castiglione joined the Sooner family after serving as athletics director at Missouri
for more than five years. His career began as the sports promotions director at Rice. Other stops included
director of athletics fund-raising at Georgetown, then director of communications and marketing at
Missouri. He marked his 25th year of serving student-athletes as an athletics director with the 2018-19
A 1979 Maryland graduate, Castiglione received the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in April
2007 and he was inducted into the State of Missouri’s Sports Hall of Fame in November 2015.
He was named to the College Football Playoff Committee in January 2018, making him the only person
to serve on that committee as well as the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball and Baseball committees.
He has served on multiple NCAA committees and commissions including the NCAA’s Board of Governor’s
Commission to Combat Sexual Violence on Campus, NCAA Championship/Competition Cabinet, the
NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Discussion Group and the United States Olympic Committee Athlete
Career and Education Strategic Working Group. He also serves on the Gatorade Collegiate Advisory Board
and the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
He is a past president of both the Division I-A Athletic Directors Association and NACDA. He also served
three terms as the chair of the Big 12 Board of Athletics Directors. A former member of the Phi Delta Theta
Foundation Board of Trustees, he is a highly requested speaker at annual conventions and continuing
education institutes. In November 2011, his hometown recognized him by selecting him for the Broward
County (Fla.) Sports Hall of Fame.
Locally, he served the United Way of Norman, among others. His third term as OU’s campus co-chair
resulted in the highest recorded contributions ever by faculty, staff and students to the United Way of
Norman’s annual campaign. He encourages student-athletes and athletics staff to participate in those
efforts as well, and in 2018-19, OU Athletics representatives logged more than 5,000 hours of community
A native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Castiglione is married to the former Kristen Bartel, a 1990 graduate of
the University of Missouri. They are the parents of two sons, Joseph Jr., who graduated from OU in May,
and Jonathan, who is an incoming OU freshman.
Chick-fil-APeachBowl.com | @CFAPeachBowl | The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl | @CFAPeachBowl 165