One year after leading East Central University out of the Lone Star Conference, Brian DeAngelis is returning to the LSC as athletic director at Texas A&M-Kingsville.
DeAngelis, 39, replaced longtime ECU athletic director Tim Green in March 2007 and had been the driving force behind an unprecedented growth spurt in Tiger athletics. On his watch, the school completed the Pat O’Neal Strength and Conditioning Center and transformed the aging Elvan George Building into a state-of-the-art locker room for the ECU football team.
In addition, ECU had added volleyball and golf to the women’s sports lineup since Deangelis took the reins of the athletic department. In its first year as a member of the new Great American Conference, the school won championships in both soccer and cross-country while capturing the league’s overall athletic championship. Also among the highlights of the 2011-2012 school year was the 8-3 record posted by the Tiger football team, the most victories for an ECU squad since the school moved from the NAIA to NCAA Division II in 1994.
DeAngelis, who was a finalist for the Kingsville job in 2009, replaces Ken Oliver, who resigned in May to return to his alma mater, Central Methodist University in Missouri. The move is a return home of sorts for DeAngelis, who came to ECU after seven years at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
“I applied at Kingsville three years ago and was a finalist, so when the job came open again they contacted me,” DeAngelis said. “The relationships my family and I have developed here are something I’ve been proud of, and I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish here the last five years. It’s very tough to leave.
“Kingsville is pretty much home for me — we still have family in Corpus Christi,” he added. “It’s Division II, which is where I want to stay, but it’s a much bigger Division II operation (than ECU) with more responsibility. It’s a way for me to further my career and remain at the Division II level.”
DeAngelis said he believes he is leaving the ECU athletic program in better shape than he found it.
“The goal for anybody, regardless of your job, is to have it be more attractive when you leave than when you came, and I feel like that’s happened,” he said. “I feel it’s a great job for anybody and will draw a strong pool of applicants.”
DeAngelis was the second youngest of the five finalists for the Kingsville job which will reportedly pay him $110,000 a year over the course of his three-year contract.
“We had a very strong pool of candidates for athletic director, and Brian stood out as a great fit for us,” Steven Tallant, A&M-Kingsville’s president, said in a statement on the TAMUK website. “He has a proven track record and a commitment to student-athletes and the community that fits in with Javelina athletics. We believe he will embrace our traditions while moving our athletics program forward and making it even stronger.”
DeAngelis, who will report to work in Kingsville on Aug. 6, said he still has plenty of work to finish up at ECU before he leaves.
“There are still projects we’re trying to get done in this last month and things we normally do during the summer that I wasn’t going to dump on the next person” he said. “I feel great about what we’ve done here. The opportunity is there for the next person to take it over and take it an even higher level.”