UCO’s New Athletic Director
Eddie Griffin smiles at attendees of a press conference on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. Griffin, who coached the UCO wrestling team in the late 1970s to early 1980s was announced as the new athletic director at UCO. (Cara Johnson/ The Vista)
The University of Central Oklahoma named former UCO wrestling coach Eddie Griffin as the new athletic director on Thursday after former AD Joe Muller resigned in August.
“This is home for me,” Griffin said. “Our goal here will be to win national championships, conference championships, and to win championships in our students lives as well.”
While Griffin did not mention any specifics plans he wants to implement in the department, he said that with the support of their donors, UCO has great momentum moving forward.
“There’s nothing but greatness in the future here,” Griffin said. “I’m very honored and thrilled to have this opportunity.”
As the wrestling coach at UCO from 1978-1982, Griffin won the program’s first three national championships, while coaching 28 All-Americans, and 11 individual champions during his five years as the head wrestling coach.
Griffin won NAIA Coach of the Year three times (1979, 1981, 1982), Atlantic Coast Conference Co-Coach of the Year in 1991 and was the Oklahoma Coaches Association Athletic Director of the Year in 2000.
Griffin previously served as the president of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and the Jim Thorpe Association from 2008-2017. As the president of the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, Griffin looked over all operations of the museum and the hall of fame.
This will not be Griffin’s first stint as an athletic director. From 1992-2000, after coaching the Clemson wrestling team for nine years, Griffin became the athletic director of Oklahoma City Public Schools.
After eight years of serving as the athletic director of OKC Public Schools, Griffin took on the same position at Northeastern State in 2000. With Griffin as athletic director, the Northeastern State men’s basketball team won the national championship in 2003.
UCO President Don Betz has a familiarity with Griffin. Betz was the president of Northeastern State during Griffin’s final year as the athletic director at the university.
“Eddie is a great team player and someone who I enjoyed working with at Northeastern State University,” Betz said. “I’m really looking forward to his tenure here with us.”
As athletic director of Northeastern State, the school’s football win total went from nine in his first year to one in his last. Men’s basketball went from 23 wins to 11, women’s basketball from 17 to 16 and baseball’s win total went from 32 to 21.
During his tenure at Northeastern State, the sports teams combined for 10 conference championships, two NCAA regional championships, and three conference tournament championships.
Griffin also raised $4.5 million for upgrades to Northeastern State’s athletic facilities.