Northeastern State University welcomes new athletic director


NSU Athletic Director John Sisemore speaks during a press conference on Thursday at the NSU Event Center.

Source: Northeastern State University

As John Siemore took the stage on Thursday to be introduced as the new athletic director at Northeastern State University, reality started to settle in.

It has been his dream to lead the athletics program at NSU.

“I’m beyond blessed and excited,” Sisemore said during a press conference on Thursday. “When I started getting into coaching and athletic administration, I knew that NSU would be at the top of my list if I ever had the opportunity to move from Crowder. I just seized the opportunity and it has just been a blessing since.”

Joining the Northeastern family is also a sort of homecoming for Sisemore who has a farm 12 miles outside of Tahlequah where he raises his daughters. He enjoys the small-town atmosphere and after meeting with different officials throughout the hiring process it just reaffirmed his belief that NSU is the right fit.

Sisemore will be the eighth athletic director in school history. He replaced Matt Cochran who announced his retirement from the position earlier this year.

“Finding the right leadership, finding the right fit for our campus was important and essential in this position,” Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Debbie Landry said. “We found the right person to lead our athletics department to enhance our regional, state and national impact, to help our coaches build on their success and to help our athletes achieve academic success.”

While his current goal at the moment is to get to know NSU, Sisemore said through conversations with NSU officials so far there is a need to increase scholarship funding. Sisemore said this funding is important for students to receive a good education and it will be a high priority for him coming into this new role.

“We need to be able to get on the same level, that is allowable by the NCAA, to have the same matching funds for student athletes that all the other schools in the MIAA that we compete against have also,” Sisemore said.

Prior to accepting the position at NSU, Sisemore served as the athletic director and head coach of the Roughrider softball team at Crowder College. During his tenure at Crowder College, Sisemore worked to raise substantial capital to grow and support the athletic program and student programs. This includes working towards developing a self-funded athletics program at Crowder College — a feat only 3% of NJCAA schools have achieved.

He also oversaw the construction of the Freeman Fieldhouse. The more than $2 million facility was self-funded through outside donations. In addition, he worked on other facility improvement projects such as renovating the baseball fields.

As athletic director he helped launch the first esports program in the region in 2020. The program won its first national championship in 2021. He also worked to expand the athletic department which in 2022 grew to include men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf and women’s soccer.

As a coach, Sisemore led his team to a 403-97 overall record and to several Region 16 championships. During his tenure, the Roughrider Softball program was recognized as one of the best in the country.

Prior to his administrative and coaching experience at Crowder College, Sisemore was an assistant coach for the University of Arkansas softball program from 2009-2012. While at the University of Arkansas, Sisemore was mentored by retired athletic director and Razorback Foundation head Frank Broyles.

“I am a servant-leader,” Sisemore said. “And I assure you, I will work hard to do the things that it takes to give our students the best experience that they have ever had.”

NSU Athletic Director John Sisemore (right) shakes hand with MIAA Commissioner Mike Racy (left) during a press conference at NSU Event Center on Thursday.
John Sisemore
NSU Athletic Director John Sisemore speaks during a press conference on Thursday at the NSU Event Center.
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