Kansas Athletics Hires Wayne Simien and Collin Sexton


Courtesy of Kansas Athletics

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas Director of Athletics Travis Goff announced today the hiring of former KU basketball All-American Wayne Simien as associate athletics director for engagement and outreach. Additionally, Collin Sexton has been hired as the assistant athletics director for strategic initiatives/chief of staff.

“Wayne is one of our very best Jayhawks and his integrity, leadership and passion for KU will immediately benefit our student-athlete experience,” said Goff. “He is committed to strengthening every aspect of KU and his profound care for our student-athletes is inspiring. Adding him in this capacity will provide tremendous impact for both internal and external initiatives. We are incredibly excited to welcome Wayne, Katie and their five children to KU in this official role.”

At Kansas, Simien will play a key role in leadership and professional development opportunities for student-athletes, coaches, and staff. He will also focus on developing relationships with former letterwinners and donors, as well as being a part of Kansas Athletics’ community involvement, outreach and relationship building. He will continue in his role as the host of The Jayhawker podcast, where he connects with current and former student-athletes, in addition to staff members and coaches. For the past 12 years, Simien has served in various roles on campus as well as volunteering in the athletics department as an affiliate.

Simien ended his career at Kansas, No. 12 in scoring (1,593 points), No. 7 in rebounds (884) and No. 4 in double-doubles (38). Simien helped lead Kansas to a 110-28 record during his career, along with three Big 12 Championships, four NCAA Tournament appearances, three Elite Eights and two Final Fours. Simien was selected 29th overall in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, with whom he won an NBA Championship in 2006. Simien’s Kansas jersey was officially retired on Jan. 29, 2011.

In addition to Simien, Goff will welcome Sexton to the department as well. Sexton is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Director of Athletics’ office, and assisting with the development and management of strategic initiatives to achieve the mission and goals of the department. He will also serve as the primary point of contact in the Athletics Director’s office for internal and external departments on various matters.

“A fellow Kansan, Collin is passionate about building upon our foundation of success and helping student-athletes reach their potential,” said Goff. “His journey as a walk-on football student-athlete and diverse experience in college athletics provides a unique lens as we launch and implement strategic initiatives to better serve our myriad of constituents. His previous experiences in development will also benefit Kansas Athletics given our emphasis on growing our donor base.”

Sexton comes to Kansas from Northwestern where he was the assistant athletics director for leadership giving. The Abilene, Kansas, native joined the Northwestern staff in February 2019.

Prior to Northwestern, Sexton was the director of football operations/chief of staff at Bowling Green State University. There he managed the day-to-day operations of the football program, coordinated all travel plans and oversaw staff, department budget, academics, compliance, alumni relations and other areas.

Prior to his time at Bowling Green, Sexton worked with Learfield’s corporate office in Plano, Texas, as a support assistant. He served for almost a year with Bowling Green’s Falcon Sports Properties, a division of Learfield, as manager of business development, working with clients and agencies to develop, activate and implement sponsorship opportunities.

Sexton played four years of football for Kansas State where he was a two-time Academic All-Big 12 recipient and was on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll four times. He graduated from Kansas State in May of 2016 with a degree in journalism and mass communications, and a minor in business administration. Sexton earned his master’s in sport administration from Northwestern in 2021.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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