Story Courtesy of Akron Media Relations
AKRON ? University of Akron President Luis M. Proenza named Tom Wistrcill, former senior associate athletics director for external relations at the University of Minnesota, as the new director of athletics at The University of Akron. Wistrcill replaces former AD Mack Rhoades, who left UA in July to take the same position at the University of Houston in Texas.
Wistrcill, who has been with the University of Minnesota since May 2006, brings a wealth of experience in intercollegiate athletics, not the least of which includes the grand opening of a new $288 million 51,000 seat football stadium. UM will open its new TCF Bank Stadium on September 12, the same day UA opens InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field.
“I am incredibly humble and excited to be the new athletics director at The University of Akron,” Wistrcill said. “The vision Dr. Proenza has for this University and the Department of Athletics made it extremely attractive to come to Akron. The opening of InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field coupled with the success of the Zips’ athletics programs makes the timing great as well.”
UA and UM are the only NCAA Division I universities to open new football stadiums in the country this year.
“I am delighted to welcome Tom Wistrcill as the new athletics director at The University of Akron,” Proenza said. “His commitment to excellence, tremendous enthusiasm and passion will ensure success for all of our student-athletes. The University of Akron has enjoyed national acclaim for several of our athletic programs in the last several years and we expect this trend will continue under Tom, whose experience in the Big Ten Conference will help to springboard the university to even greater excellence in all of our athletic programs.
“I also would like to thank the AD search committee, led by Candace Campbell Jackson, the university’s chief of staff, for their commitment and dedication to the process and for bringing such a talented pool of candidates to campus so quickly. I’d also like to thank Hunter Yurachek, who served the University well as interim athletics director,” Proenza added.
Wistrcill’s experience also includes marketing, sales, media relations and management, particularly in the Big Ten Conference. Prior to joining Minnesota, Wistrcill held the position of General Manager of Badger Sports Properties at the University of Wisconsin, where he was responsible for managing $8 million in sales and marketing ventures for the Wisconsin athletic department. He developed and implemented several major first-time sponsorships at Wisconsin, including the development of the Badger Radio Network through Learfield Communications. Badger Sports Properties is a division of Learfield.
Wistrcill served as commissioner of two NCAA Division II conferences, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, from 1994-2000. He also served as vice president of sales and marketing for VarsityOnline.com and is a former general manager of the St. Louis Quest, a franchise in the Women’s Professional Volleyball League.
Wistrcill, 39, received his B.A. in Media Communications from St. Mary’s University in 1992 where he captained the men’s basketball team. He earned a master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in 1996. Tom and his wife, Kelly, have two children, Jonathan and Jack.
The University of Akron is the public research university for Northern Ohio. The Princeton Review listed UA among the “Best in the Midwest” in its 2008 edition of Best Colleges: Region-by-Region. Serving 26,000 students, the university offers approximately 300 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and law degree programs and 100 certificate programs at sites in Summit, Wayne, Medina and Holmes counties. For more information, visit www.uakron.edu.