VSN (admin) Published on Wednesday, June 08, 2022 – 08:30

Wayland Baptist University named Jim Giacomazzi, the longtime Pioneer volleyball coach, as Director of Athletics, effective immediately. Giacomazzi will continue in his role as volleyball head coach, a position he has held since 2007.

“We are thrilled to have Coach Giacomazzi assume the role of Head Volleyball Coach and Athletic Director here at Wayland Baptist University. Coach Giacomazzi brings a lot of experience and loyalty to this position,” said Dr. Claude LuskUMA’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Student Life. “He has been part of the Wayland sports family for 15 years and is very successful. He coached the volleyball team in each of those years and also served as coach of the women’s golf team twice. His willingness to serve in any field is a hallmark of who he is as a person.

“Coach Giacomazzi has always been a visible supporter of all of our sports teams. He believes in our mission and in our people. It is clear by the academic performance of his teams, his classroom teaching experience, and his service on university committees that he strongly supports the academic mission of the university.

“I believe he has the ability to move this ministry forward in a positive and productive direction. His extensive experience in competitive athletics as a player and coach is an added advantage. He definitely understands the role and challenges of both the coach and the student-athlete.”

Giacomazzi said he was eager to take on the additional role of sporting director and believes his long history on the sidelines will benefit the whole department.

“I’m a coach, and I’ve seen what we can do,” he said, adding “Relationships are the key to our success, whether with our teams or with teachers or with colleagues. Success requires trust, respect, integrity, dependability and skill, and I hope to help develop all of these qualities within the athletic department.”

Giacomazzi replaces Bill Weidner, who stepped down after serving as DA for the 2021-22 academic year.

Weidner says: “I made the decision to pursue other potential professional opportunities. I value the opportunity to have served as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Wayland and am proud of the many accomplishments and accomplishments of our student-athletes and coaches over the past year in academics and athletics. It is in this spirit that I extend my best wishes to the Wayland family for continued blessings and success.”

Lusk thanked Weidner for “his service to our athletics department and the university during the past academic year. His contribution to the institution and to the community is appreciated. We wish him good luck in his future endeavours.”

Giacomazzi said he was very committed to the position of the WBU athletics department, but knew he could always be better.

“We have great people in all positions and I want to support them in any way I can to help us continue to be successful. I want us to compete and win in the classroom, on the scoreboards and in the hearts of those we work with every day.”

A graduate of Azusa Pacific University in California, Giacomazzi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education and Bible Education and a Masters of Education. He played professional baseball in the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres organizations from 1981 to 1983 before becoming a coach. He was the head volleyball coach at Oral Roberts University and the University of Nevada-Reno before joining the Texas Panhandle in 1991 to coach at West Texas A&M.

In his first season, he led the Lady Buffs to a 36-2 record and an NCAA Division II national championship. He followed that up with a 30-11 record and a third-place finish in the NCAA Elite 8 Tournament in 1992.

Upon returning to coaching in 2007 after 15 years in the private sector, Giacomazzi transformed a Wayland program that had suffered for eight straight seasons below .500. Its WBU teams had 11 consecutive winning campaigns with no less than 17 wins, including a 36-7 school record and an appearance in the NAIA Final Four in 2013. That season, WBU was named the team of champions of the NAIA National Tournament.

Giacomazzi, who amassed a 302-203 WBU record and ranks in the NAIA’s top 15 among active coaches for all-time wins with 416, has consistently guided his teams and players to win the academic honors from the NAIA and the Sooner Athletic Conference, including winning the American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award six of the past seven years.

Giacomazzi is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, having served on the board of directors for the past five years, including as chairman of the head coaches committee. He is a board member and junior representative for the Sun Country region of USA Volleyball. Additionally, he is an IMPACT Master Clinician and holds a CAP III certification with USA Volleyball.

Giacomazzi is married to Trisha, assistant professor of education at UMA. They have three children, Kris, Nick and Natasha, all former WBU students, and four grandchildren. Natasha was an all-conference volleyball player at Wayland from 2011-2013.

“I concluded that to be happy I must walk daily with the Lord, I must compete, and I must be around like-minded people.” said Giacomazzi. “I want us to be respected and recognized as overachievers at Wayland.”

Wayland Baptist University Earlier Athletic Conference Staff

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