UHV sports administrator to receive Athletic Director of the Year award
Ashley Walyuchow, University of Houston-Victoria athletics director, is being honored by his peers for administrative excellence and commitment to student-athletes.
Walyuchow recently was selected as a 2015-2016 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics/Other Four-Year Institutions Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year winner. The award is given by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Walyuchow will be recognized June 15 at the association’s annual convention in Dallas.
“This is an exciting honor and one Ash richly deserves,” UHV President Vic Morgan said. “He has been active in the NAIA and has done an outstanding job with our programs at UHV. I am delighted for him.”
Walyuchow was hired as the university’s first development employee in 2000. Six years later, he started the Athletics Department from scratch. UHV’s baseball and softball programs began in 2007-2008, and men’s and women’s soccer and golf were added in 2010.
Walyuchow said his top job accomplishments were starting six athletic programs with limited resources and facilities, and getting UHV into the Red River Athletic Conference.
“This job has had challenges,” he said. “But I’ve been fortunate to have the support of administration, faculty and staff from day one.”
The Under Armour AD of the Year Award program was created to honor intercollegiate athletics directors for their commitment and administrative excellence within a campus and college community environment. Winners must demonstrate a commitment to higher education, show leadership and provide significant outreach for the betterment of youth.
Walyuchow has coached youth softball, Little League baseball and YMCA soccer. He served on the Victoria Parks and Recreation Commission for two terms. He is on the NAIA Athletic Director Association board. He will be speaking in April on an NAIA Convention panel about drug testing and education.
The Jaguars have experienced plenty of success on the field during Walyuchow’s tenure. UHV has won two baseball and softball conference championships and earned three berths to the baseball national championships and four to the softball championships. The UHV men’s and women’s golf teams also have produced individual conference champions, and the women’s team qualified for the national championships in 2015.
Walyuchow oversaw UHV’s move from an independent conference to the Red River Athletic Conference. UHV just played its first RRAC softball game Friday, and the first conference baseball games are coming up March 4. The RRAC inclusion has significantly reduced student-athlete travel time and associated expenses, Walyuchow said.
“The growth and opportunity we provide to about 140 student-athletes is important,” he said. “It allows them to pursue a degree and play sports they love at a highly competitive level. Without the students being great ambassadors for UHV and Victoria, I probably wouldn’t be able to accept an award like this, so I’m grateful for them.”
The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics has more than 12,500 individuals and more than 1,600 institutions throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The Athletic Director of the Year award is presented annually in NCAA Divisions Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions I-AAA, II and III, NAIA/other four-year institutions and junior colleges. There are 28 winners – four per division. Past winners have included former DeLoss Dodds, former University of Texas athletics director; Bob Bowlsby, former University of Iowa athletics director; and Vince Dooley, former University of Georgia athletics director.
Bob Wilson, athletic director at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, Calif., nominated Walyuchow for the honor.
“I appreciate the recognition from Bob and several other athletics directors who have reached out to mentor and help me the last 10 years,” Walyuchow said. “I don’t think I could have done this without their friendship and mentorship.”
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.