AD Yantko Junior Racer Named to College Sports’ 40 Under-40 List

As Murray State’s new Director of Athletics Nico Yantko (pronounced Nick-oh Yank-oh) begins his duties Sept. 1 with the Racers, he was recognized by Athletics as part of The magazine’s first list of collegiate athletics’ rising stars who are under 40 years old.
The Athletic received nominations nationwide looking for movers and shakers in collegiate athletics, including head coaches, athletic directors, athletic firms, media and anyone shaping the industry in 2022.

Yantko, who turned 35 in April, comes to Murray State University with more experience than many his age after successful stints at North Carolina State University (2011), the University of Missouri (2011-17) and the University of Louisiana (2017-22) .

“I am extremely humbled by this recognition from The Athletic,” said Yantko. “I have been extremely fortunate to work with incredible colleagues, coaches and student-athletes at a number of outstanding institutions. This is a direct reflection of all of these people and I look forward to continuing this amazing journey as Director of Athletics in Murray State.”

Yantko leads the Racers in their first year as members of the Missouri Valley Conference and in the fall of 2023, Murray State joins the Missouri Valley Football Conference. He is 10th Full-time AD in Murray State history as university celebrates its 100thth year in the 2022-23 school year.

Jordan Smith Concert – CFSB Center
Murray State Athletics and the CFSB Center are proud to announce that The Voice Winner and Kentucky Native, Jordan Smith, will bring his talents to the CFSB Center on Saturday, September 17, 2022. The concert is hosted by KentuckyCare as part of their Hope, Healing and Restoring the Concert Series. Smith is an American singer, songwriter and musician from Harlan, Kentucky. Smith began singing in his church choir and continued his college education at Lee University. Tickets start at $20 and are available at

2022 Hall of Fame Dinner and Program
The annual Hall of Fame dinner is the night of November 11 at the CFSB Center. The Class of 2022 will also be recognized on Nov. 12 at the Racer vs. Robert Morris football game (1 p.m. kickoff) and a men’s basketball game against a yet-to-be-determined opponent. Hall of Fame dinner tickets can be purchased through the MSU ticket office online at

About Murray State Athletics
Located in Murray, Kentucky, the Murray State University athletic department is a member of NCAA Division I and plays in the Football Championship Subdivision. The Racers have 15 programs including men’s baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer and golf teams and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field and volleyball teams, as well as a mixed gender rifles. . The Racers became a member of the Missouri Valley Conference on July 1, 2022. The Racers will become a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2023. The MSU rifle program competes in the Ohio Valley Conference.

About Murray State University
Since 1922, Murray State University has provided a collaborative, opportunity-rich living and learning community that fosters personal growth and professional success through a high-quality college experience. Students receive support from inspiring faculty and staff and will join a special campus community – the Racer Family. With nearly 10,000 students, Murray State prepares the next generation of leaders to join more than 80,000 successful alumni making a difference in their community, across the country and around the world. We are Competitors. The University’s main campus is located in Murray, Kentucky, and includes five regional campuses in Ft. Campbell, Henderson, Hopkinsville, Madisonville and Paducah.

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