New athletic director named at WWU; Cox to stay with Mercury

Jason Vittone, assistant athletic director at William Woods
University, was named director of intercollegiate athletics today after Amber
Cox decided to remain with the Women’s National
Basketball Association’s (WNBA) Phoenix Mercury.

In addition, Tracy Gastineau, head softball coach since 1998,
has been promoted to associate athletic director. 
 
In August it was announced that Cox, a WWU alumna who has
spent nearly seven years with the Mercury,
would return to her alma mater to become director of intercollegiate athletics
after the Mercury finished their season.
 
“At the
last minute, Amber was approached by the Mercury with an unbelievable offer,”
Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, said. 
 
In reaction to his
promotion, Vittone said, “I’d like to thank Dr. Barnett for this
incredible opportunity. I am both excited and humbled. We have a great staff
here at William Woods, and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead of
us.”
 
Vittone has been at William Woods since January
2007, when he was named
sports information director and Champions of
Character coordinator. Previously he worked at Central Methodist University in
Fayette and before that, he was general manager of the Owensboro Oilers, an
NCAA-sanctioned wood bat league in Kentucky.
                                               
He also coached baseball for 16 years, most
recently spending nine years at Brescia University in Owensboro, Ky., where he
was inaugural head coach for the NAIA Bearcats and sports information director.
 
Vittone was a catcher at St. Ambrose University
before transferring to Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., where he
earned his Bachelor of Science degree in secondary physical education, with
minors in history and coaching. He completed a Master of Science degree in
health, physical education and recreation at Emporia State University, Emporia,
Kan.
 
He authored an article published in Collegiate
Baseball titled, “Important Pointers: Vittone Gives Insight Which Will Help
Catchers Perform Better in Games.”
 
Vittone and his wife, Kirstie, live in Mexico,
Mo., and have two sons, A.J., 11, and Dominick, 9. His wife works at Peak
Performance in Centralia.
 
Gastineau, a native of New Bloomfield, Mo., graduated from William Woods in 1993
with a degree in accounting. In 1998, she earned her master’s degree in
education curriculum from William Woods.
 
She has been American Midwest Conference Coach of the Year
four times and has amassed an impressive 465-265 record.  In 2010, she received the AMC Coach of
Character Award. Prior to her coaching career, Gastineau was a standout
athlete at William Woods.