NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences will honor OU Athletic Director Joe Castiglione for his distinguished service to the college at their annual Kaleidoscope Evening, set for Friday, Feb. 28.
Castiglione has been instrumental in helping College of Arts and Sciences student athletes improve their academic performances and increase graduation rates. He also has worked with college staff to provide study abroad opportunities for student athletes, a first at the university.
The 11th director of athletics at OU, Castiglione arrived on the Sooner campus in summer of 1998 and what he found was nothing like what we see today. He made a number of changes, and, in the process, created a team of administrators, coaches and support staff who pursue and achieve lofty goals under the banner of ethical integrity.
The true measure of achievement for Castiglione and, by extension, the department’s coaches and staff, is measured in the success of the student-athletes in relation to the department’s mission statement “Inspiring champions today … Preparing leaders for tomorrow.” Castiglione believes that excellence on the field of completion should correlate with the classroom.
OU student-athletes set an all-time record with a 3.06 cumulative grade point average (GPA) across all 21 sports during the fall 2013 semester. That cumulative GPA reflects the overall academic performance of those student-athletes from their first semester of their enrollment at OU through the completion of the fall 2013 term. In addition, 14 of Oklahoma’s intercollegiate teams registered a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher through the fall 2013 semester
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.
His commitment to the success of student-athletes has gone beyond the Norman campus and he has served at the national and conference level. He was recently re-appointed to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee for a three-year term, ending after the 2015-16 season after filling a term that ended following the 2012-2013 season. He chaired the NCAA’s Football Academic Progress Rate (APR) Working Group and is currently serving on the NCAA Working Group on Collegiate Model-Rules Committee, the Gatorade Collegiate Advisory Board and the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
He served three terms as the chair of the Big 12 Board of Athletics Directors and is a past president of both the Division I-A Athletic Directors Association and NACDA. He served a four-year term on the NCAA Championship/Competition Cabinet and the NCAA Baseball Committee and is a past member of the NCAA Football Special Events Certification Committee. He has served on the NCAA Diversity Leadership Strategic Planning Committee, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Discussion Group, the United States Olympic Committee Athlete Career and Education Strategic Working Group and the NCAA Football Issues Committee of which he now serves as chairman. 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, he was named to his hometown, Broward County (Fla.) Sports Hall of Fame.
His involvement in the local community has led to service with civic clubs, churches and charities, including the United Way of Norman, recently serving his third term as OU’s campus co-chair, which 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 2012-13, OU Athletics representatives logged a staggering 2,561 hours of community service.
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.
Also being honored at the banquet are distinguished alumni Ina Javellas, Wm. Roger Louis, Ramez Maluf and Vance Raye.