DENVER – Dean of Students Dr. Scott Lyons has announced that Dr. Greg Waggoner has been chosen as the next director of athletics for Johnson & Wales University.
Waggoner brings more than two decades of athletic administration experience to JWU Denver after serving as the AD at Western Colorado University (WCU) for 20 years (1994-2014) and Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) for three (2016-19).
"Dr. Waggoner brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be valuable to our campus community as we achieve ambitious goals for the university's Focus 2022 strategic plan," Lyons said. "We're extremely excited to welcome Greg to the JWU Denver family and are fortunate to add someone with such a relevant track record."
Waggoner's tenure with the Wildcats will begin on Jan. 6.
"I am excited to be a Wildcat and join the JWU family. I appreciate the opportunity that Dr. Lyons and President Wiscott have given me, and I am drawn to the unique nature of JWU and the direction that Wildcat athletics is heading," Waggoner said. "The athletic staff is capable, committed and eager to move forward, and I look forward to work with them in the years to come. As an additional bonus my wife, Gloria, and I are pleased to be returning to Colorado."
A native of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Waggoner oversaw one of the most successful stretches in the history of ENMU Athletics from 2016-2019, including 31 All-Americans, nationally ranked men's and women's cross country and track programs, and postseason appearances by football, women's basketball and women's soccer. During Waggoner's oversight, Eastern New Mexico brought in record-setting fundraising revenue and finished construction of a new $17 million stadium with substantial improvements to other facilities.
The Greyhounds also excelled academically during Waggoner's time at ENMU, twice winning the Long Star Conference (LSC) Academic Excellence Award for the highest overall GPA in the conference and placed 144 student-athletes on the LSC Commissioner's Honor Roll.
Waggoner spent 29 years at Western Colorado University, his alma mater, as a professor, coach and athletic director. Under his leadership as the athletic director, the Mountaineers won 11 NCAA Division II national team championships and 71 individual national championships. They also had 97 top 10 national finishes, won 32 conference titles, had 575 individual All-Americans and produced 11 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans. WCU was one of only four NCAA DII institutions to place in the top 45 of the Director's Cup for 19 straight years, finishing in the top 25 all but once during that span.
Waggoner oversaw significant development and improvement to WCU's facilities to the tune of $37 million, including the completion of a $30 million indoor track & field house/student recreation center in 2014. In his dual role as Director of Development at WCU, Waggoner exponentially increased fundraising and revenue sources while directing the athletic department's marketing strategies, capital campaigns, corporate partnerships, special events, planned giving, endowments, grant writing, booster activities and annual fund drive.
Waggoner has continually prioritized gender equality and diversity, hiring the first-ever Indian American head football coach in collegiate football history; the first African-American head coach in WCU history; and the first women at any NCAA level to be named National Coach of the Year for a men's sport.
Waggoner earned a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education from WCU, a Master of Arts in Secondary Education from WSU and a Doctorate in Sport Administration from the University of Northern Colorado.