Barta Announces Staff Adjustments

July 30, 2004


University of Wyoming Athletics Director Gary Barta has announced position-upgrades for three administrative staff members.

Barta indicated that Bill Sparks, Kevin McKinney and Tim Harkins have been recommended to receive promotions. Sparks and McKinney will be upgraded to Associate Athletics Directors, and Harkins to Assistant Athletics Director.

In addition, Barta announced Associate Athletics Director Tom Turchetta and Assistant Athletics Director Matt Whisenant have been assigned additional duties.

"I have been impressed with the loyalty, pride and work ethic of our coaches and staff since I walked through the door nine months ago," Barta said. "We've made some moves to better match talent with responsibility. I believe the changes will make us even better."

Sparks is in his sixth year as the Executive Business Manager. He is charged with the day-to-day operation of the financial and budgetary areas for the athletics department as well as managing the equipment room, athletic facilities, athletic concessions, and the office assistant staff. A native of Spanishburg, West Virginia, Sparks earned his bachelor's from Marshall University, in 1979, and his master's from the University of Georgia in 1992.

McKinney, who just completed his 32nd year in the athletics department, began his career with UW in 1972 as an assistant sports information director. He was named Sports Information Director in 1975. In addition to those duties, he has been the color analyst on Cowboy radio broadcasts for over 20 years. McKinney oversees all aspects of media and public relations for the department, including information, the web site coordinator and the audio/visual area. A native of Cheyenne, he earned his bachelor's degree from UW in 1971. He has one son, Sean, who is 21 years old.

Harkins is entering his 14th year with the UW Athletics Department, all in the Sports Information area. He has managed media relations efforts for the sports of football, men's basketball and women's and men's golf. In addition to those areas he will have direct supervision of the website coordinator. He came to Wyoming in 1991 after serving as a media relations and marketing intern in the University of Utah Athletics Department. He also worked in the University of Tulsa Department of Intercollegiate Athletics for one year as a graduate assistant. A native of St. Francis, Kan., he earned a double major in journalism and accounting from the University of Kansas. In addition, he earned a master's from Tulsa, in athletics administration. He has one daughter, Tess, who is 18 years old.

Turchetta, who is in charge of football operations, as well as the swimming and track programs, also will oversee the areas of strength and conditioning and athletic training. Whisenant, who directs the department's compliance area, has been assigned the additional duties of supervising the Cowboy wrestling program as well as the Cowgirl and Cowboy golf programs.

Turchetta is in his second year as an administrator after serving as an assistant football coach at UW for three seasons. An outstanding college football player, he earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Miami in 1973, and a master's in educational administration from LaVerne (Calif.) College in 1977. He began his coaching career at Kentucky in 1979. He is married to the former Deborah Harris.

Whisenant is entering his third year at UW. His primary duties include conducting the day-to-day compliance operations for the school's 17 intercollegiate sports. A native of Manassas, Va., he earned his bachelor's degree in Physical Education in 1996, and his master's in Sport Science in 1999 from East Tennessee State University. He is currently working on a Ph.D. in Sport Management. He and his wife Kim have one son, Landon, who is sixth months old.