Boatright steps in as interim athletic director

Grant Cohen

Darron Boatright has always wanted to be apart of collegiate athletics.

He started out as an assistant basketball coach, but decided it was not his desire to be a Division I head coach.

Boatright became the interim athletic director for Wichita State Athletics on Dec. 9, replacing previous AD Eric Sexton, who is now vice president of Student Affairs.

“Eric is doing important work in Student Affairs,” President John Bardo said in a news release. “ I’m glad we have Darron in place to run athletics. This completes the transition begun last spring.”

For the past five years he has served as former deputy athletic director and chief operating officer.

Boatright is now responsible for all WSU athletic teams, contracts and personnel. He will also oversee marketing, fundraising, media relations and the day-to-day operations for the men’s basketball and baseball operations.

Boatright attends team practices and games, along with conversing with the coaches and student athletes.

“Mr. Boatright is a great role model for all student-athletes at WSU,” said men’s basketball player Ron Baker. “He enjoys helping the student-athletes first.”

A 1998 graduate of Murray State University, Boatright served three years as a student assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at Murray State University. He helped lead them to two NCAA appearances and one National Invitation Tournament (NIT) appearance.

After graduating for MSU, Boatright became the director of basketball operations for the University of Alabama men’s basketball team until 2004, when Boatright and his wife, Kim, had their first child, Fletcher. After their son was born, Boatright wanted to have a more flexible schedule but still be involved with collegiate athletics.

With the mindset of wanting to help student-athletes, he went back to his alma mater in 2005 to serve as the associate athletic director for external affairs.

“The decision to go to the coaching side of things to the administration was one that was several years in the making,” Boatright said. “I found that I wasn’t really interested in becoming a head coach at the collegiate level, but I loved college athletics. I decided that I would be more successful in the administration side of things.”

He spent three years at the University of Alabama-Birmingham as the associate athletic director for development. Boatright’s job focused on donor relations while also managing the university’s priority seating program.

Boatright’s work helped raise funds for student-athlete scholarships, enhancing the sports programs and facility projects.

In 2010, Boatright was hired by WSU to work as the senior associate athletic director for external operations.

“I had worked at institutions where you only had to be successful in a couple of sports,” Boatright said. “At the time, I felt like Wichita State was an emerging department set for future success no matter what the sport is.”

Having only been working a month in his new role, Boatright continues to help WSU emerge into a nationally relevant institution for athletics and academics. Boatright said these changes not only benefit the university, but also create a positive impact for the community.

“This institution is emerging, and athletics plays a strong role in that,” Boatright said.