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New Director Leads Student-Athletes

By Nick Trougakos

Oklahoma City University leaders didn’t have to look far to identify the school’s new athletics director. In fact, they found their candidate just a few hours up Interstate 44.

OCU President Kenneth Evans in February named Corey Bray as the university’s new director of Athletics.

Before accepting the position at OCU, Bray was the vice president and director of athletics at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. He was selected after a multi-month national search to replace long-time athletic director Jim Abbott, who retired at the end of the fall 2021 semester.

“I would like to thank President Evans and the Board of Trustees for the opportunity to serve as the next OCU director of athletics,” Bray said. “I am extremely excited about the chance to lead an athletics department with such a rich history of national championships and academic success.”

Bray served as Drury’s athletics director since 2019, leading the NCAA Division II school into competition in 28 sports. Prior to that he served seven years as the associate athletics director for compliance at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; six years as assistant athletics director for administration at Eastern Kentucky University; and six years in various administrative roles at the NCAA offices in Indianapolis.

Bray said he hopes to build on the work Abbott accomplished during his long tenure at OCU.

“I look forward to building on the tradition of excellence created by Jim Abbott and other OCU athletics directors as our outstanding student-athletes strive to be more than champions in the classroom, in the community, and in competition,” he said.

Evans said Bray fits the mold for what the university seeks in the leader of its athletics programs.

“We appreciate Corey’s experience, energy and enthusiasm,” Evans said. “His philosophy of creating champions not only on the playing field, but in the classroom and community as well, aligns with the vision of our university.”

Bray earned his undergraduate degree in psychology, with a minor in coaching, from Pacific Lutheran University, before earning a master’s degree in social psychology of sport and exercise at the University of Oregon.

He is a long-time member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and has served numerous times as a volunteer or youth coach in baseball, basketball, football and track. Bray’s wife, Leslie, is a high school math teacher, and the couple has two sons, Luke, 14, and Landry, 11.

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