|- Ricky Vaughn|
Vaughn, who has been with UTPA for seven years, will replace former director of athletics Scott Street, who announced his resignation on May 23. Through Aug. 31, Street will serve as a special assistant to Dr. John Edwards, vice president for the Division of Enrollment and Student Services.
“He will run the department just like any athletic director. He will concentrate on our continuing commitment to compliance to NCAA rules, getting the budget prepared for next year, and working with Mr. Street on the possibility of conference affiliation as well as developing a plan for fundraising,” Edwards said.
Vaughn, previously served as a track and field/cross country coach, and most recently as an athletic academic adviser in which he partnered with the Learning Assistance Center to help provide UTPA student-athletes additional venues for developing academic skills, such as tutoring labs.
“He's been an asset to the University in his role as a track and field/cross country coach, with many success stories, both athletically and academically. He understands the compliance process and the importance of academics,” Edwards said.
As interim athletic director, Vaughn said his first order of business will be to meet with the entire athletic department and ensure everyone works together toward the same mission for UTPA athletics and the University as a whole.
“This means a great deal to me that the University has chosen me to serve in this role. I feel that Dr. Edwards and the UTPA administration has recognized my accomplishments and feel that I will be able to carry out the goals and objectives of the University. I am very honored and humbled that they have chosen me,” Vaughn said.
With more than 18 years of coaching experience under his belt, Vaughn has trained and developed six NCAA national champions, 31 All-Americans, 10 Western Athletic Conference champions and one Southeastern Conference champ. In addition, he coached Alex Papadamitrious, who was a 1996 Olympian and is the national record holder for Greece in the men's hammer. He has also trained Mexico's national record holder for the women's discus. Under Vaughn's guidance and leadership, the UTPA men's program produced its first three-time All-American in Westly Keating of Pharr, who earned a pair of All-American honors in cross country where he placed seventh as a junior and 25th in the previous season. He also finished 11th in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Division Outdoor Championships.
Vaughn graduated from Angelo State University with a bachelor's degree in physical education with a minor in biology in 1989, and he earned his master's degree in education in 1991 from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.
Edwards said the search for a permanent athletic director will begin in the next two to three weeks, and the administration is hoping to have someone in place by Sept. 1.
As the hiring process begins, Edwards said the qualities the University is looking for in the next athletic director include a commitment to not only seeing the athletic department succeed, but most of all its student-athletes.
“We will be looking for someone with great personal skills, commitment to the student-athlete's success as a student and an athlete, someone with a high sense of integrity, strong work ethic, and a vision for the athletic program at UTPA,” Edwards said.
For more information on UTPA athletics, call 956/381-2221 or visit http://utpabroncs.cstv.com/.