|Title:||2008 Inductee ( Athletic Director 1997-2006)|
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has named former Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Athletic Director, Dan Viola, as a 2008 inductee into the Athletic Hall of Honor.
Viola grew up in Studio City, California and was a two sport standout athlete at North Hollywood High School. He was named to the All-City football team during his senior year of 1969. Prior to heading to Weber State in Ogden, Utah, Viola spent two years at Pearce Junior College. Viola played his final two football seasons at Weber State graduating in 1975.
His profession career began in Ogden as a High School teacher and assistant football coach. The next step in his career was a stop in El Paso, Texas. Viola began a ten year stint at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) in 1977. During his time at UTEP he held a wide variety of positions from graduate assistant football coach to director of athletic dorm and assistant football coach. In 1980, Viola was assigned to oversee the UTEP Miners strength training program as well as football academic affairs. In 1986 he was named Athletic Student Services Coordinator, where he acted as the liaison between the athletic department, admissions, registrar, and financial aid offices for all student-athletes.
Prior to moving to Corpus Christi, Viola spent ten years at the University of Wyoming in various Assistant/Associate Athletic Director positions. During his tenure at the University of Wyoming, Viola was at different times involved with most aspects of running an NCAA Division I athletic program. This included directing Wyoming’s departmental compliance with the NCAA and Western Athletic Conference rules and regulations; supervising the athletic business office, the academic affairs unit, the Cowboy Joe Booster Club, sports information, and marketing areas. He also served as the primary aide to the Athletic Director in budget preparations and allocations, in hiring decisions for the department as well as Project Coordinator during the NCAA Division I Athletics Certification process. Viola oversaw the implementation of two new women’s programs (soccer and tennis) from the hiring of head coaches to the start of competition.
Viola hit the pavement running after being named the first Athletic Director of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on May 19, 1997. Viola had a five year plan in place and began the process of assembling an administrative and coaching staffs while building up the NCAA required 14 intercollegiate programs. In July of 2002, the department was informed that it was accepted for active NCAA Division I status. Viola was instrumental in initiating a wide variety of community outreach programs, most notably bringing the National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) to the “Island University”, which involves bringing over 175 local youth from the surrounding area to campus as well as a summer basketball outreach program geared for underprivileged youth in Corpus Christi. Both of theses summer programs are running strong today.
During his tenure here in Corpus Christi, Viola served as a board member on the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau, Metro Ministries, as well as a board member for the Volunteer Services Council of the Corpus Christi State School. He was also a catalyst in several citywide projects to aid in the advancement of the city of Corpus Christi. Viola was a member of Forward Corpus Christi, a group that turned out in force to pass bond elections for the construction of the American Bank Center and Whataburger Field as well as numerous other beneficial community wide projects.
In addition to the vast amount of community outreach during his time, Viola work diligently along with former Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi president Dr. Robert Furgason and current president Dr. Flavius Killebrew to secure Conference affiliation, which was celebrated in the fall of 2005 when Islander Athletics was officially invited into the Southland Conference. Viola and his wife Chris work tirelessly during his tenure as Athletic Director to lay the foundation and begin the building process of Islander Athletics.
Viola lost his father, Al Viola, who played guitar in Frank Sinatra’s band in February of 2007. He has recently relocated to California to live closer to his mother and his wife Chris is in the process of relocating to Arizona where her parents live.