Tarleton State welcomes new Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Steve Uryasz in introductory press conference Monday

The veteran NCAA Power Five Level administrator brings nearly 40 years of experience to Tarleton State


STEPHENVILLE — On Monday morning, Tarleton State President Dr. James Hurley welcomed Steve Uryasz in an introductory press conference as the new Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics at Tarleton State University.

The Barry B. Thompson Student Center was standing room only with Tarleton State faculty, staff, students, and fans in attendance.

“Today is a great day for Tarleton State Athletics as we celebrate the future and legacy of athletic excellence,” opened Hurley. “To all of our student-athletes, coaches and support staff that are here today, I want to say thank you for yet another incredible year of Texan Athletics.”

“I want to thank Vice President Lonn Reisman,” continued Hurley. “We want to thank Lonn … for his (three-plus decades) in his excellent leadership of Tarleton State.”

Uryasz will succeed longtime Tarleton State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lonn Reisman, who announced last October that he would retire this spring. Hurley added that Tarleton State will honor Reisman at the March 9 Texan Men’s Basketball game for his service to the university.

“The foundation that Lonn built is strong, it is very, very strong, and it’s from that foundation that we will continue to build Tarleton State Athletics,” said Uryasz. “Lonn is an icon here, all you have to do is walk through Wisdom [Gym] and you can see his history.”

Hurley then addressed what the needs of the next individual to fill the vice president role would be, and how Uryasz fit exactly what the university needed.

“We must now look to the fast-changing future of intercollegiate athletics,” Hurley said “In our quest to find our next vice president for intercollegiate athletics and director of athletics, we wanted someone with a passion for excellence, both in sport and scholastic achievement. We wanted someone with strong FBS experience. We wanted someone who embraces our spirit and traditions … We wanted someone that wanted to be part of Texan Nation. When Steve interviewed for the job, the very first comment out of his mouth was ‘I want this job. I want this job.’ He made it very clear he wanted to be part of Texan Nation. And above all, we wanted a leader that would put the needs of our students and student-athletes above all else, because I believe that if our student-athletes are successful, that means our coaches and our support staff and the entire university is successful.”

“So I want to thank and commend our search committee for a job well done. Steve Uryasz is the right leader for this pivotal moment for Tarleton State Athletics,” President Hurley proclaimed to all of those in attendance.

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

“Many have asked why Tarleton State University,” Uryasz said. “It’s a strong brand, it’s growing. I will tell you, I have never been around a president like Dr. Hurley. The energy, to be honest, it’s infectious … His energy, his enthusiasm for Tarleton State University is amazing. We want to build on that. We want to have that bleed over into athletics and do things that are really unique at Tarleton State.”

In his most recent stop at West Virginia, Uryasz served on the senior leadership team at West Virginia for the past eight years. He served as the executive senior associate athletics director from 2016-21 and the deputy athletics director from 2021-23. 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.

“When you look at what our policies and our goals will be moving in the future, our student-athlete experience will be our highest priority,” Uryasz said. “Graduating student-athletes, which we’ve already done, and maintaining our high APR and team GPA’s. We will grow revenues through Texan Club’s fundraising, sponsorships, premium fan experiences, ticket sales, and individual sport promotion.”

“Dr. Hurley’s vision is clear,” Uryasz continued. “That vision may be seen across the Tarleton State University campus and everything we do in athletics will support our Tarleton State values of excellence, integrity and respect. Additionally, we will honor the tradition and history of Tarleton State University Athletics while at the same time welcoming change.”

Uryasz returns to the Lone Star State where he 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. During his time with the Red Raiders, he served as the associate athletics director for student services, the senior associate athletics director and executive director of the Red Raider Club and finished his time in Lubbock as the senior associate athletics director for development and external operations.

“Margie [Uryasz’s wife] looked at me when we drove into town, and she goes, ‘It feels like home.'” remarked Uryasz.

In between his time at West Virginia and Texas Tech, Uryasz explored a new venture from 2015 to 2016, 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.

Prior to Texas Tech, Uryasz was the assistant athletics director for academic and student affairs at Oklahoma State from 1992 to 1997. His professional career started at Nebraska as the assistant director of academic programs from 1985 to 1992.

Uryasz and his wife, Margie, are the parents of Alyssa, Mike, Holli and Chris. They also have five grandchildren. Uryasz is a two-time graduate of Nebraska, where he received his master’s degree in athletic administration and educational psychology in 1987, and his bachelor’s degree in education in 1985.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.