From OC Sports
Murray Evans, Sports Information Director
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Christian University Athletic Director Curtis Janz said Friday he will resign to become the athletic director at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.
Janz has served as OC’s athletic director since January 2009 and has led the athletic program through a long period of sustained success both on the field and in the classroom. He will work at OC until the end of the month before beginning his duties at UAFS – like OC a member of the Heartland Conference – on Aug. 1.
“Oklahoma Christian has been my home for more than 30 years as a student-athlete, assistant coach and as athletic director,” Janz said. “I value the relationships that have been built over those years, especially with the athletic staff and coaches.
“OC will always be special to me because it is the place I grew into the person I am today. So many people have invested in me – Dan Hays, Max Dobson, Stafford North, Stephanie Findley, Randy and Tom Heath and so many others. I will always be in their debt.”
OC President John deSteiguer said the departure of Janz – who has been associated with OC in some form since 1983 – will leave a void.
“Curtis is a great man and friend,” deSteiguer said. “Integrity, relationships, culture-building – these are only a few of his many strong talents. And Curtis’ story is quintessentially OC – he came to OC as a student, his life was changed, and as a result, he has changed the lives of many others. He will be missed – and he will continue to be loved and respected by many here, including me.”
Janz played an important role in OC’s athletic history, having successfully guided the university through the difficult and sometimes-arduous NCAA Division II membership process. OC just finished its first academic year as a full NCAA member and seems poised for success in the future in Division II.
Janz first came to Oklahoma Christian in 1983 as a member of Hays’ first basketball team at OC. Janz graduated in 1986 and stayed at OC to serve first as a graduate assistant under Hays, then as a full-time assistant coach starting in 1988.
He spent 19 years in that role, directing recruiting, monitoring the academic progress of players and helping with the on-the-floor coaching and game preparation for the Eagles. He also worked extensively with the highly successful OC Cage Camps each summer. Janz left coaching in August 2009 so he could focus on his duties as athletic director, a job he started the previous January.
The 52-year-old native of Wichita, Kan., has overseen a growing athletic department that includes 16 sports and was responsible for fundraising and setting the vision for the department. The latter element is something which he took particular care in doing.
OC has enjoyed much athletic success during Janz’s tenure, winning six of the university’s seven national titles during that time – three in men’s golf (NAIA 2009 and 2011, NCCAA 2012), two in men’s cross country (NAIA 2011, NCCAA 2012) and one in men’s tennis (NAIA 2012).
Under Janz, OC posted three straight top-10 finishes from 2010 to 2012 in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup for NAIA schools, which measures the across-the-board success of college athletic departments.
OC student-athletes also have excelled academically in recent years. During the 2015-16 academic year, Oklahoma Christian athletes had an overall grade-point average of 3.26. OC won the Heartland Conference’s overall academic championship in 2013-14, with the university’s female student-athletes taking top honors in the conference in 2014 and 2016.
“We have accomplished so much – six national championships in the last eight years and progressing though the NCAA Division II membership process to full members – but I am most proud of the culture we have in the athletic department,” Janz said.
“We have become a family; we care about and value each other as people first. It has always been my desire to teach student-athletes to compete athletically, academically, socially and spiritually. We have been very successful doing that as a department.”
Janz received his master’s degree in 1988 from the University of Central Oklahoma. He is an active member of the NCAA Division II Athletic Directors Association and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Janz is the co-author of a textbook, “Basketball Skill Progressions,” with Jerry Krause of Gonzaga University and James Conn of Central Missouri State University. The text has been adopted by the National Association of Basketball Coaches as a component of its Youth Basketball Instructional Packets. In 2003, Janz received the second annual AFLAC National Assistant Coaches of the Year award.
Curtis is married to Kathryn Janz, who grew up in Elk City. She works for Keller Williams Realty. They are the parents of a teenage daughter, Delaney.