Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics
When Joe Castiglione came to Oklahoma, he inherited one of the most storied programs in college athletics, and he set about the business of making it better.
Some who would argue that the past 15 years represent the best of the best. With eight national championships and 60 conference titles, including seven in the 2012-13 academic year, during his tenure, Castiglione’s record is certainly one of great merit. An all-time best finish of seventh in the annual Director’s Cup standings following the 2012-13 academic year adds to the Sooner story. So does the kind of academic performance that produced a combined grade point average of more than 3.00 among the nearly 600 OU student-athletes and a record 151 graduates in 2013.
Since arriving at OU, Castiglione has insisted that daily and long-term decisions be made in a financially responsible manner. The department has closed the books in the black in each of the last 15 years, making it one of the few Division I programs which remain totally self-sustaining. His understanding of how the department fits into the University’s academic mission led to a decision to increase the direct support provided by the department on an annual basis. The most recent demonstration of that commitment led to a partnership with President Boren’s office that eliminated the admission fee at OU’s internationally known Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. Through direct and indirect support, OU Athletics provides more than $8 million annually to OU’s academics budget.
In recognition of the many achievements of his tenure, Castiglione was named National Athletic Director of the Year in May 2009 by the Sports Business Journal. In June, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame named him the 2013 recipient of the John L. Toner Award, presented annually by the NFF to an athletic director who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.
His peers have honored him as well. In November 2012, the United States Sports Academy named him the winner of the Carl Maddox Sports Management Award. In October 2004, the Bobby Dodd Foundation named him Athletics Director of the Year. In 2003, he was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators Hall of Fame. In June 2001, he received the General Robert R. Neyland Athletic Director Award for lifetime achievement from the All-American Football Foundation. The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) named him Central Region AD of the Year in 2000.
The department received the 2007 PRISM Award, presented by the School of Sports Management at the University of Massachusetts. OU was just the second Division I winner and all of the programs recognized by the selection panel were started under Castiglione’s leadership with the full support of university administration.
The achievement that may bring him the most pride came in May 2007 when he completed a master’s of education degree from OU. Subsequently, he became an adjunct professor in the College of Education, teaching graduate classes in Marketing, Development and Leadership in Higher Education. He was recently named to the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education Board of Advocates.
Hired on April 30, 1998, Castiglione joined the Sooner family after serving as athletics director at Missouri. In his 17-year career with the Tigers, Castiglione, who was named director of athletics at Missouri on Dec. 15, 1993, was credited with rebuilding sports programs, hiring outstanding coaches, implementing an innovative master plan for facilities, inspiring record-setting increases in fund-raising and balancing the budget in each of his five years as athletics director.
A 1979 Maryland graduate, Castiglione received the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in April 2007. He began his career as the sports promotions director at Rice. He then worked a year as director of athletic fund-raising at Georgetown before being hired in 1981 at Missouri as director of communications and marketing.
A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Castiglione is married to the former Kristen Bartel, a 1990 graduate of the University of Missouri. They are the parents of two sons, Joseph Robert, Jr. and Jonathan Edmund.