Steve Uryasz Named VP for Intercollegiate Athletics at Tarleton State


STEPHENVILLE — Following a nationwide search, Steve Uryasz has been appointed as vice president for intercollegiate athletics, Tarleton State University President Dr. James Hurley announced Thursday.

A veteran administrator at the NCAA Power Five level, he brings nearly 40 years of experience across stops at West Virginia University, Texas Tech University, Oklahoma State University and the University of Nebraska.  

“I am excited about the innovative leadership, breadth of experience, and commitment to athletic and academic success that Steve Uryasz brings to our athletic department,” said Dr. Hurley. “Steve understands the rapid changing landscape of NCAA Division I athletics and embraces the opportunities that are before us here at Tarleton State. He’s the perfect fit for our university, athletic department and our community.”

Uryasz has served on the senior leadership team at West Virginia for the past eight years, most recently handling the role of executive deputy athletics director and chief operating officer (COO). As COO, he has been responsible for the daily administration and management of the athletic department. He has also handled the sport administrator duties for football and men’s basketball, with contract negotiation and execution part of his duties.

“It is an honor to be chosen to serve as the next vice president for intercollegiate athletics at Tarleton State University,” Uryasz said. “I am grateful to President Hurley, Dr. Credence Baker, the search committee as well as The Texas A&M System Board of Regents for this opportunity. It was clear from the first time I visited with President Hurley that Tarleton State University is a special place with an unlimited ceiling. Dr. Hurley’s vision for the future is exciting, and the commitment to athletic excellence and the student-athlete experience is unwavering.”

At WVU, more than $100 million in capital projects have been completed under his watch, including the addition of revenue generating premium donor areas like Club 35 and the Clark Mountaineer Club. He also guided a $10 million renovation to create the WVU Athletics Performance Center in support of Olympic sport student-athletes. A restructure of the sports medicine program was completed as well, centered around an exclusive agreement with WVU Medicine for services.

With the Mountaineers, Uryasz worked as deputy athletics director from 2021 to 2023 and executive senior associate athletics director from 2016 to 2021.

“As faculty, we’re proud of the high academic progress our student-athletes have made while moving up to the Division I level,” said Dr. Karl Aho, Tarleton State Faculty-Senate President Elect. “Vice President Uryasz’s background in supporting student-athletes academically demonstrates his commitment to setting them up for success on the field and in the classroom.”

He has supervised multiple units during his time in Morgantown, including the Mountaineer Athletic Club, strength and conditioning, sports medicine, facilities, game day operations, student-athlete development, clinical and sports psychology, and sports nutrition. 

No stranger to the Lone Star State, Uryasz spent the majority of his career from 1997 to 2015 at Texas Tech, culminating his time there as senior associate athletics director for development and external operations.

With direct supervision of the Red Raider Club, athletics giving eclipsed $30 million in fiscal year 2014, a total which brought Texas Tech to second among Big 12 Conference institutions in annual contributions. A proven fundraiser, Uryasz led the development staff to successfully solicit $126 million for facilities and scholarships during the Vision and Tradition Campaign.

Texas Tech also sold out football home games on a season ticket basis in 2014 for the first time in school history. The average attendance of 58,934 is a record that still stands today.

From 2000 to 2011, Uryasz took on senior associate athletics director and executive director of the Red Raider Club responsibilities. Full-time staff for the Red Raider Club grew exponentially during this time, with seven full-time fundraisers added. The west side of Jones AT&T Stadium underwent a $75 million renovation in 2003, and a $35 million renovation to the east side followed in 2010. A comprehensive plan to market premium seating options at football resulted in the sale of 1,650 club seats and 85 luxury suites.

Uryasz began his time with the Red Raiders from 1997 to 2000 as associate athletics director for student services, overseeing the academic support program which served 450 student-athletes. Texas Tech athletics increased its graduation rate from 38 percent to 65 percent over three years under his guidance. He was also part of a fundraising campaign to build a $4.2 million academic support center.

Prior to Texas Tech, Uryasz was the assistant athletics director for academic and student affairs at Oklahoma State from 1992 to 1997. At OSU, he developed and administered academic support programs for 400 student-athletes. His role also worked to ensure compliance with the NCAA, Big 12 Conference and institutional regulations.

His professional career started at Nebraska as the assistant director of academic programs from 1985 to 1992. He was responsible for academic advising, satisfactory progress, eligibility, graduation and the student-athlete mentoring program with the football team. His unit was voted the nation’s most outstanding academic support program by College Athletic Management for its work with Cornhusker football.

From 2015 to 2016, Uryasz explored a new venture, generating business opportunities in excess of $21 million in less than 12 months with First United Bank in Lubbock as vice president of business development. 

He will succeed longtime Tarleton State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lonn Reisman, who announced last October that he would retire this spring.

Uryasz and his wife, Margie, are the parents of Alyssa, Mike, Holli and Chris. A two-time graduate of Nebraska, he received his master’s degree in athletic administration and educational psychology in 1987 and his bachelor’s degree in education in 1985.

“From the moment Margie and I arrived in Stephenville, it felt like we were home,” Uryasz said. “Texas is home for our family, and we look forward to the relationships we will build and championships we will celebrate at Tarleton State University.”

An introductory press conference will be held Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. in the Thompson Student Center Ballrooms.


Bob Bowlsby, Former Big XII Commissioner
“Steve is a top-flight administrator. He is very experienced and a man of high integrity. He is someone that has been an incredible colleague of mine for many years, and I think he will do a tremendous job at Tarleton State University.”

Wren Baker, Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at West Virginia University
“I’m so happy for Steve and for Tarleton State University. Steve is a thoughtful and engaging leader who has the experience needed to navigate the challenges faced by college athletic programs. He is also open-minded and forward thinking in providing strategies and solutions for the future of college athletics. I know he and Margie are excited to be joining the Stephenville community and Tarleton State family. People will love them, and they will enrich the campus and community. We at WVU are thankful for Steve’s many contributions to our program and look forward to seeing his future successes.”

Dr. Kevin White, Vice President and Director of Athletics Emeritus at Duke University and Senior Advisor with Huron Consulting Group
“I have had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand Tarleton State’s meteoric rise in recent years, and the announcement of Steve Uryasz as the Texans’ next vice president for intercollegiate athletics only furthers this astonishing growth trajectory. Steve brings a unique combination of extensive industry experience at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics, an affinity for the greater university community and a competitive spirit matched only by the aspirations of Tarleton State. Being an NCAA Division I athletics director has never been more challenging than it is today, but I am confident that Steve possesses the necessary characteristics to successfully lead the Texans into the future. I am thrilled for Steve, Dr. Hurley and the Tarleton community. Go Texans!”

Neal Brown, Football Head Coach at West Virginia University
“Steve has great energy. He does a terrific job of motivating coaches and staff through humor and direct communication. He and his wife Margie are always all in. They’re super supportive and attend games, practices, radio shows, everything. Steve’s got a great vision for Tarleton State. He knows the area well, and his time at Texas Tech will serve him well. I’ve known Steve since 2010, and from all of these years working together, I can say he’s a great communicator. He brings people together, he’s well liked and he’s someone you want to spend time with.”

Shane Lyons, Executive Deputy Director of Athletics, Chief Operating Officer at The University of Alabama
“Steve’s a great hire. He’s a visionary leader, so he’ll do a great job sitting in that AD chair and can take Tarleton State to new heights. Professionally, Steve is a great listener. He tackles difficult matters, and he handles all matters appropriately. He’s a people person for sure, and he’s very loyal. He’s the type of leader open to communication with all constituents, whether that be student-athletes, boosters, fans or staff. He will want to explore and execute on all of the potential Tarleton State has to offer, and he’ll collaborate with various groups to do so.”

Mark Kellogg, Women’s Basketball Head Coach at West Virginia University
“Steve Uryasz is a fantastic hire by Tarleton State University. He is a tremendous leader with a vision for success. He will bring passion and excitement to the athletic department, the campus and the Stephenville community. Steve has ties all over the state of Texas and is well respected by his colleagues and peers. The student-athletes and coaches at Tarleton State will thrive under his guidance.”

Ron Butler, Chairman and CEO of First Financial Bank
“Steve is an experienced professional and is an excellent choice for Tarleton State. He and Margie will be great additions to Tarleton State and the Stephenville Community. Steve is up to the challenge of following a Hall of Fame athletics director like Lonn Reisman. He has big shoes to fill, but his Power Five experience will help Tarleton to continue its advancement in college athletics.”

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