William Woods University Athletics Director Larry York will retire June 30, 2011, WWU President Jahnae H. Barnett announced today. York has served as the school’s director of intercollegiate athletics since January 2000.
“It has been a pleasure to work at William Woods University the last 11-plus years,” said York. “There are so many great people at the Woods who really care about the students. It has been great to work side-by-side with so many true professionals. Every effort is made to ensure that each student has a positive educational experience. That cumulative attitude has made it a joy for me to come to school every day.”
Barnett said she will miss York’s work ethic and professionalism, two keys to his success at WWU.
“During his time at William Woods, Larry has overseen the expansion of the department both on and off the field of play,” Barnett said. “He was instrumental in the addition of men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s track and field and men’s basketball. He also played a major role in the creation of a full-time strength and conditioning coaching position and program at William Woods.”
William Woods has improved the playing surface, lighting and sound at nearly every facility under York’s leadership. The department now has a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facility and indoor training facility.
Barnett admits that she accepted his resignation with regret, indicating that he had truly transformed the university’s athletic program. His efforts were rewarded in 2006-07 by being named the American Midwest Conference and NAIA Region V Athletic Director of the Year.
York has also been an effective leader within the university community. He was instrumental in the creation of the WWU master of education degree in athletics/activities administration, which the university implemented in 2006.
“I will miss working with the young men and women who attend the university,” York said. “I will miss the young coaches who, in many cases, are just beginning a career in coaching, and I will miss the faculty and staff who go the extra mile to provide the richest experience possible for their students and their co-workers.”
When asked to list the things that are vital in developing a top-notch athletic program York said, “I believe in identifying the factors vital for success and then consistently working to improve those areas. Those areas include retention of athletes for four years, a superior strength training program, knowledgeable and hard working coaches with charisma, athletes willing to go the extra mile to be successful and an adequate budget to put us in a position to be champions.”
York has been no stranger to success. Prior to his stint at William Woods, he was the athletic director at Jefferson City (Mo.) High School, where he had worked since 1972. In 1978 he was voted the 4A Track Coach-of-the-Year in Missouri and in 1986 he was inducted into the Missouri Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame.
A native of Quincy, Ill., York graduated from Quincy High School, where he was an All-State football player. He was inducted into the Quincy High School Hall of Fame in 2001.
York played football at the University of Missouri, and he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics/biology and physiology education. He received his master’s degree in school administration from Lincoln University in 1980.
He and his wife, Becky, have two children and five grandchildren and he said, “It is time to move on to the next phase of my life. I plan to explore more deeply the many interests I have developed over the years and I am truly looking forward to spending more time with our children, with our grandchildren, travelling and working on our farm.”