Bill Weidner, a gifted and proven athletics administrator for the past 30-plus years, has been named Wayland Baptist University’s director of athletics.
Weidner has served a variety of universities in administrative roles since 1988, most recently at the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, N.M., where he was vice president for development and director of athletics.
“I am most appreciative and deeply humbled of having been granted the opportunity to serve as the director of intercollegiate athletics at Wayland Baptist University,” Weidner said. “Wayland and its storied athletic program have a rich heritage and a proven tradition of excellence in both the academic and athletic arenas. I am honored to serve at an institution that places the dispositions of scholarship, community and faith as foundational principles upon which to build the future successes of its students through the development of servant leadership.
Dr. Claude Lusk, WBU’s senior vice president of operations and student life, said he is excited to have Weidner join the WBU athletic family.
“Mr. Weidner has had extensive athletic administration experience in both the NAIA and NCAA and has proven through his career to be an advocate for all that is good about college athletics,” Lusk said. “From success on the field of competition and in the classroom to finding ways to truly serve and volunteer in the community, he believes that collegiate athletics can help change lives for the better.
“We look forward to what he brings to an already incredible staff of professionals.”
Weidner received his bachelor’s degree from Springfield College (Mass.) and his Master of Arts in Physical Education in 1984 from Stanford (Calif.). After a brief stint as an assistant football coach at Murray State (Ken.), Weidner entered athletics administration in 1988 as assistant athletics director at SMU.
He also was athletics director at Ashland University (Ohio), University of Texas-Pan American and Weber State (Utah), and deputy athletics director at University of Central Florida and University of San Francisco. After serving as president of a non-profit, community outreach Christian ministry organization in Spring Hill, Fla., he returned to athletics administration as AD at USW, an NAIA school in Hobbs from 2013-18.
At USW, Weidner implemented 10 new intercollegiate athletic sport programs and implemented a student-athlete roster management strategic plan which led to an institutional record number of student-athletes. He also secured funds for a number of facility improvements and oversaw the program during a time when it received national awards for community engagement, servant leadership and academic excellence.
“I want to express my sincere thank you to (WBU President) Dr. (Bobby) Hall, Dr. Lusk and the members of the search committee for their thoughtful consideration as well as for their entrusting me with the important responsibility of serving as the next director of intercollegiate athletics at Wayland Baptist University,” Weidner said. “I also wish to offer praise to my Heavenly Father for opening the door to this wonderful opportunity.
“As the Wayland Baptist University intercollegiate athletic program prepares to address its current and future challenges, I welcome the opportunity to be a part of the team effort that is currently in motion at the institution. As the university fulfills its mission of honoring God by educating its young men and women to excel in both the academic and athletic arenas during their stay at the university, while also establishing among them a lifelong commitment of serving others, I look forward to utilizing my God-given skills, talents and abilities, which are gifts from my Heavenly Father, to best serve Wayland Baptist University and its athletic program with unbridled energy and enthusiasm.”
Weidner becomes only the third director of athletics at Wayland in the past 30 years. Dr. Greg Feris served as AD from 1990-2014 and was followed by Rick Cooper, who resigned earlier this year.
Wayland Baptist University sponsors 17 men’s and women’s competitive sports and has produced 21 NAIA national championships. WBU’s athletics program consistently ranks among the best in the nation in the Learfield Director’s Cup, which gauges programs’ overall on-field success. Wayland finished in the top six for five years straight from 2013-18, including third in 2017-18 to match the school’s all-time best finish. The program was temporarily halted due to COVID-19.