WEATHERFORD, Okla. – Todd Thurman, SWOSU Athletic Director since 2008, announced Friday that he will be leaving Weatherford and Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Thurman has accepted a similar position leading the Athletic Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver, an NCAA Division II institution in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
“Deciding to leave SWOSU and Weatherford is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make,” Thurman said. “My family and I came here in 2006 and never expected that we would find a home that my entire family cherished. I will always have love for this community and SWOSU will remain in my heart forever.”
The eighth Athletic Director in SWOSU history, Thurman took the reins of the athletic department in 2008 following two seasons as the Bulldog Men’s Basketball coach. Under his tutelage, SWOSU Athletic programs have claimed 16 regular season or tournament championships since the formation of the Great American Conference with six different teams reaching NCAA Division II postseason play. Thurman guided SWOSU as they became a founding member of the Great American Conference in 2011 and spearheaded fundraising efforts leading to several facility renovations, including the Pioneer Cellular Event Center, which opened in January 2014.
“I would like to thank Dr. John Hays for giving me the opportunity to come to SWOSU and I also want to thank President Randy Beutler and the SWOSU Administration for being so supportive of me and the SWOSU Athletic Department,” Thurman continued. “My goal has always been to establish a family atmosphere with those who I work with and I believe that has come true. Thank you to the coaches and student-athletes who have come into my life during the past 14 years and our athletic staff of Todd Helton, Doug Self, Edwin Detweiler, Josh Collins and Pam Nichols. They are the ones that deserve all of the credit for the success of our department.”
Prior to coming to SWOSU, Thurman was the head coach at Wayland Baptist, where he had a record of 131-82 and led the Pioneers to four NAIA National Tournament appearances in seven seasons. He also coached as an assistant at Southern Nazarene, Central Oklahoma and Oklahoma Christian following his playing career, which included an NAIA National Championship at Bethany Nazarene in 1981 and stints with professional teams in England, Argentina and the Philippines.
“Todd Thurman has been a tremendous asset for SWOSU for the past 12 years,” SWOSU President Randy Beutler said. “I greatly appreciate all that he has done to improve our athletic programs during his tenure as Athletic Director. We will miss Todd on our campus, but we want to wish him the very best for this new opportunity at Metro.”