WVU has named Natasha Oakes as Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) for the university. She will officially start the role on August 15th.
According to the press release, she will oversee the department’s areas of sport governance, gender equity and Title IX initiatives, represent the department as its Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) on Big 12 and NCAA governance groups and be the sport administrator for women’s basketball and Olympic Sports.
She will also work as the department’s Chief Diversity Officer, a role where she will “direct and coordinate the department’s efforts to advance DEI initiatives and oversee the Every Mountaineer Committee.”
“Natasha will be a great addition to our department, and our student-athletes and staff will benefit from her years in athletics administration,” said Lyons in the press release. “When we started this search back in late spring, Natasha’s name kept coming up as someone who was ready to be a SWA at the Power 5 level, and she will play a key role in our department’s daily operations. Her duties are vital to our overall department success and the student-athlete experience.”
Oakes comes to WVU from North Texas where she severed in several athletic administrative roles from 2018-22. Prior to North Texas, she was at Missouri Western State University, where she got her masters degree, from 2014-17 and with the NCAA from 2010-14.
“I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to join Shane Lyons and the entire Mountaineer family. West Virginia is a place rich in tradition and values that align with my own,” Oakes said in the press release. “It is also a state that holds personal significance for me, as my father’s side of the family calls it home. I look forward to the opportunity to positively impact the Athletics Department, as well as the University overall, and cannot wait to engage with our coaches, administrators, and most importantly our student-athletes. Let’s go!”
She received her bachelor’s from Emporia State University, where she also ran track and field. She is also a graduate of the NCAA’sDr. Charles Whitcomb Leadership Institute, which was formerly known as the NCAA Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority Males and Females.
She has been involved in college athletics since 2004 when she worked with the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) as the Assistant Commissioner for Compliance and Internal Operations.