Oklahoma football: A look at the most notable changes of the Joe Castiglione era

Much has changed with Oklahoma athletics in the 15 years that Joe Castiglione has been the athletic director.
by Jenni Carlson Published: August 10, 2013
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Much has changed with Oklahoma athletics in the 15 years that Joe Castiglione has been the athletic director. Here are the most notable changes:

1. Football: Everything doesn't begin and end with football at OU, but it sure seems that way. Castiglione fired John Blake after three losing seasons and hired Bob Stoops, who hasn't had a losing season since. The success energized fans, fueled ticket sales and boosted fundraising, which has benefited not only football but also every other sport on campus.

2. Budget: OU athletics was $12-$14 million in debt when Castiglione took over. Now, the department hasn't just balanced its budget but is running a surplus. Additionally, the department is one of less than 10 in the nation that takes no state funds and is completely self-sustaining.

3. Facilities: Every sport has seen a major upgrade of facilities. The changes to football are most visible, including a 7,672-seat expansion of Memorial Stadium in 2003, but the improvements to other sports are even more profound. The women's soccer team was playing at Griffin Park on Little League fields; now, it plays in a multi-million-dollar, 3,500-seat stadium.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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