McMurry University President Dr. Sandra Harper has announced that Vice-President of Intercollegiate Athletics and Student Affairs Sam Ferguson will be stepping down early next month. He will join the athletics administration at ACU as associate vice president and deputy athletic director for revenue generation.

“McMurry University has appreciated Sam Ferguson’s leadership and creativity for over nine years,” Dr. Harper said. “Whether it was leading us in the transition to Division III, adding softball and esports, supervising the construction of the Edwards Field, or hiring conference championship coaches, the impact of Sam Ferguson on McMurry athletics has been profound. More recently, his role expanded as the leader of our student affairs division during an especially challenging time of the global pandemic. We appreciate Sam’s work ethic and wish him well in his new position at ACU.”

He made an immediate impact upon his arrival, with early highlights such as the current exclusive apparel deal with Adidas, the development of the Scholar-Athlete Leadership Academy, organizing a new booster club, an exclusive bus transportation contract, and the creation of an athletics sponsorship program that yields more than $100,000 per year for the department. Fundraising also saw an enhancement under Ferguson’s leadership. The department increased its giving by more than 400% from 2016 to 2019. In fact, through the generosity of the McMurry donors, McMurry’s War Hawks Club raised more than $1 million in 2019 through annual gifts, capital gifts, endowments, sponsorships, and sport-specific donations. That generosity made constructing McMurry’s Edwards Field Softball Complex and other facility and scholar-athlete experience upgrades possible. In 2017, Ferguson was named the campus’ “Most Outstanding Administrator” in recognition of his contributions. He also won McMurry’s “Outstanding Servant Leadership” award in 2021.

The following facility upgrades have been completed under Ferguson’s leadership through the generosity of loyal McMurry supporters: Artificial Intelligence-powered Hudl Cameras at Wilford Moore Stadium; New signage and branding throughout Wilford Moore Stadium; Construction of Edwards Field; Two weight room redesigns; Keemotion artificial intelligence cameras for Kimbrell Arena; Kimbrell Arena and Ron Holmes Court redesign; New poured track construction at Wilford Moore Stadium; and Videoboard installation in Kimbrell Arena, Phillips Family Swim Center, and at Wilford Moore Stadium.

Since the 2014-15 season, Ferguson’s first entire season at the helm, McMurry has had 716 Academic all-American Southwest Conference selections. Additionally, McMurry has engaged in a comprehensive community outreach program under Ferguson, featuring a relationship with Abilene’s Adaptive Recreation Center clients. Scholar-athletes and coaches average more than 4,500 community service hours per year.

“A decision to leave a family that my wife, Kim, and sons, Angelo and Kaden, have been a part of for nine years is never easy,” he said. “There are so many wonderful people that McMurry is responsible for bringing into my life, including our sons. McMurry is a strong community that has offered me unbelievable support. We have and will always love the connections with scholar-athletes, colleagues, trustees, and donors whom we’ve been fortunate to get to know there. We will always bleed Maroon and look forward to keeping in close contact with the campus and its successes as we remain in Abilene. There are two truths associated with this professional transition – I am very excited to work for the amazing leaders at ACU, and I will always be grateful for the leaders and people that make up McMurry University.”