Nico Yantko Selected to Lead Murray State Athletics

Sep 22, 2022

MURRAY, Ky. — Nico Yantko is coming home to Murray State University after being named the 10th athletics director in school history.

Yantko, a two-degree Murray State alumnus, returns to Murray State University as the Racers begin their first year in the Missouri Valley Conference and join the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2023. A Murray State graduate and former Racer quarterback from 2007-09, his career in collegiate athletics began as a graduate assistant in the MSU athletics department and later at North Carolina State, the University of Missouri and the University of Louisiana.

“We are extremely excited to have Nico back home,” said Murray State University President Dr. Bob Jackson. “He has a wealth of experience at the highest level and will provide the leadership to move us forward in every respect as we transition to the Missouri Valley Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference. Academically, athletically and otherwise, and as I state often, our best days are in front of us as we continue expanding on our 100-year legacy of excellence. Most importantly, Nico fully understands the priority of meeting the needs of our student-athletes and will work to raise the profile and success of all of our athletic programs.”

“To be named the next Athletics Director at Murray State is a dream come true,” said Yantko. “This opportunity is unbelievably humbling, considering how much this institution and what it stands for means to me and so many others. I cannot thank Dr. Jackson and the rest of our university leadership enough for the chance to return home. Murray State has been built on relationships, and with every special moment we share together, we will continue to build and advance the Racers’ tradition of excellence. There is no higher honor than to serve my alma mater in this role, and Marnie and I cannot think of a better place to raise our family.”

“To be named the next Athletics Director at Murray State is a dream come true,” said Yantko. “This opportunity is unbelievably humbling, considering how much this institution and what it stands for means to me and so many others. I cannot thank Dr. Jackson and the rest of our university leadership enough for the chance to return home. Murray State has been built on relationships, and with every special moment we share together, we will continue to build and advance the Racers’ tradition of excellence. There is no higher honor than to serve my alma mater in this role, and Marnie and I cannot think of a better place to raise our family.”

Yantko’s career trajectory pointed to this moment sooner than later of becoming an athletics director for the first time.

His most recent success was built at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette where Yantko served for six years as the Deputy Director of Athletics.  He led the Ragin’ Cajuns external departments and operations and managed a $35M budget that impacted 450 student-athletes, 16 sport programs, 205 department employees and eight athletics venues. Yantko’s consistent delivery of increased resource development, brand popularity and competitive success was a major reason for Louisiana’s 2021-22 run of Sun Belt Conference championships in football, baseball and softball and the department’s top fundraising year of more than $30M.

For the full release from Murray State Athletics, click HERE.

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