FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Towson University Director of Athletics Michael Waddell has been named Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Operations and Strategic Communications at the University of Arkansas.
Waddell will join the athletic department’s senior leadership team and oversee the department’s external areas including marketing, licensing, media relations, public relations, ticket operations and RazorVision. He will also be the department’s liaison with the new SEC Network leading the program’s strategic engagement with the new television channel and digital platform.
Since October 2010, Waddell has served as the Director of Athletics at Towson University in suburban Baltimore, Maryland. At Towson, Waddell was the lead administrator for the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) program, which features more than 500 student-athletes and 150 coaches and staff.
During the 2012-13 season, the Tigers claimed six CAA Championships, had four coaches named CAA Coach of the Year, five student-athletes named CAA Player of the Year, nine All-Americans and more than 53 named to All-Conference status, while also having 131 student-athletes achieve a 3.5 GPA or higher and while engaging the Greater Baltimore Community with more than 10,000 hours of service.
Waddell also positioned Towson as one of the country’s most progressive programs in the areas of marketing, communications and corporate sponsorships, including soon to be naming rights for Towson’s new 5,200-seat venue which will open next month and a new multi-year footwear and apparel agreement with Baltimore-based Under Armour.
“Michael is a tremendous addition to our administrative team and will provide Razorback Athletics an informed perspective to help our program capitalize on the valuable exposure opportunities we will have moving forward,” Long said. “With our program’s continued success and the launch of the SEC Network, it is important that we strategically coordinate our messaging to effectively tell the story of Razorback Athletics and the extraordinary success of our more than 460 student-athletes. Michael’s proven leadership and diversified experience within intercollegiate athletics will enable us to bring all of our external communication and marketing resources together to accomplish that goal.”
During his tenure at Towson, Waddell developed a program motto of “EXPECT SUCCESS,” that quickly helped re-shape the department and led to many accomplishments of the program on and off the field.
The 2012-13 men’s basketball team capped off a dramatic reformation, going from 1-31 in 2011-12 to 18-13 this season. It was the biggest one-year turnaround in the history of college basketball. Early in his tenure, Waddell negotiated a multi-media rights partnership with CBS Collegiate Sports Properties and expanded the department’s development staff leading to record totals in annual giving over the last two years.
In 2010-11, Towson Athletics embarked on “telling its own story” with a new technology-first approach starting with its web presence and the addition of more video content and daily features on the student-athletes and coaches. The results was an increase of 500 percent of page views to the department’s website and an increase of more than 200 percent of the site’s unique visitors.
“I am excited to join the Arkansas Razorback Family and to work with the outstanding student-athletes, coaches, administration and staff at the University of Arkansas,” Waddell said. “The opportunity to work with a program that has a rich, long-standing tradition and for an athletics director in Jeff Long who has proven to be one of the most innovative and proactive in all of college athletics is something that I am eager to engage. I am looking forward to working with this outstanding team to take advantage of emerging opportunities to share our story of success and position the University of Arkansas at the forefront of college athletics.”