New athletic director named at WWU; Cox to stay with Mercury
|9/30/2011||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
Jason Vittone, assistant athletic director at William Woods University, was named director of intercollegiate athletics today after Amber Cox decided to remain with the Women's National Basketball Association's (WNBA) Phoenix Mercury.
In addition, Tracy Gastineau, head softball coach since 1998, has been promoted to associate athletic director.
In August it was announced that Cox, a WWU alumna who has spent nearly seven years with the Mercury, would return to her alma mater to become director of intercollegiate athletics after the Mercury finished their season.
“At the last minute, Amber was approached by the Mercury with an unbelievable offer,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, said.
In reaction to his promotion, Vittone said, "I'd like to thank Dr. Barnett for this incredible opportunity. I am both excited and humbled. We have a great staff here at William Woods, and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead of us."
Vittone has been at William Woods since January 2007, when he was named sports information director and Champions of Character coordinator. Previously he worked at Central Methodist University in Fayette and before that, he was general manager of the Owensboro Oilers, an NCAA-sanctioned wood bat league in Kentucky.
He also coached baseball for 16 years, most recently spending nine years at Brescia University in Owensboro, Ky., where he was inaugural head coach for the NAIA Bearcats and sports information director.
Vittone was a catcher at St. Ambrose University before transferring to Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in secondary physical education, with minors in history and coaching. He completed a Master of Science degree in health, physical education and recreation at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kan.
He authored an article published in Collegiate Baseball titled, “Important Pointers: Vittone Gives Insight Which Will Help Catchers Perform Better in Games.”
Vittone and his wife, Kirstie, live in Mexico, Mo., and have two sons, A.J., 11, and Dominick, 9. His wife works at Peak Performance in Centralia.
Gastineau, a native of New Bloomfield, Mo., graduated from William Woods in 1993 with a degree in accounting. In 1998, she earned her master’s degree in education curriculum from William Woods.
She has been American Midwest Conference Coach of the Year four times and has amassed an impressive 465-265 record. In 2010, she received the AMC Coach of Character Award. Prior to her coaching career, Gastineau was a standout athlete at William Woods.