Don Tomkalski Retires from TU

Senior Associate Athletic Director for Communications Don Tomkalski has announced his retirement from The University of Tulsa after a 40-year career. Tomkalski’s final day will be May 31. He will be missed by many for his skill, grace, and good humor.

“I am forever grateful to The University of Tulsa for giving a young kid back in 1984 the opportunity of a lifetime,” Tomkalski said. “I never could have imagined spending 40 years at one school but have thoroughly enjoyed my time at TU. I have witnessed so many great games, fierce competitions, outstanding individual and team performances and have had a lot of laughs that will always be etched in my memory. It was also because of this job that I met my wife Gary Ann, and I thank her for the patience and understanding of the long hours and time away.

“I thank the communication staff members who have worked with me thru the years for all their hard work and dedication. It has been a pleasure to work with them as well as the many coaches, student-athletes, athletic staff, media members and the numerous campus departments. The people make the place, and Tulsa is a tremendous place.”

Don Tomkalski

“DT has served TU as a consummate, dedicated and selfless professional for 40 years,” said Rick Dickson, Tulsa’s Vice President and Director of Athletics. “Every student-athlete, coach and staff, along with media across the country join with me as we appreciate and salute him for everything he has done for The University of Tulsa in the past four decades. He left a great imprint and will be sorely missed. Congrats, DT.”

Known to colleagues and fans alike as “DT”, Tomkalski started his career at The University of Tulsa in early 1984 as the sports information assistant. Within five months, he began serving as the sports information director. In 2008, Tomkalski was named the Associate Athletic Director for Communication where he oversaw the athletic communications of Tulsa’s 17-sport Division I-A athletic program.

Tomkalski is the longest tenured employee of the Tulsa athletic department and has worked under seven different athletic directors. He has worked with a myriad of coaches, including 10 different head coaches for football and 11 for men’s basketball.

Throughout his time with the Golden Hurricane, Tomkalski publicized unprecedented success in Tulsa athletics, including 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, three Sweet 16’s, an Elite Eight and one NIT and CBI title for the men’s basketball team. Tulsa football appeared in 14 bowl games with eight wins and four conference championships. The women’s golf won the 1988 team and individual national championships.

Two major college football award winners were promoted under Tomkalski, including 2007 Wuerffel Trophy Winner Paul Smith and the 2020 National Defensive Player of the Year Zaven Collins, winner of both the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award as well as earning consensus All-America honors. In all, football has had 13 All-Americans, 11 freshman All-Americans and seven CSC Academic All-Americans throughout his career, as well as basketball All-Americans Steve Harris and Shea Seals.

Tomkalski served as media coordinator for a number of NCAA Championship events, including the 1999 and 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships at Tulsa Country Club, 2002 and 2004 NCAA DI Men’s Tennis Championships and 2008 & 2016 NCAA DI Men’s & Women’s Tennis Championships at the Michael D. Case Tennis Center. He was also the media coordinator the 2011 and 2017 NCAA DI Men’s Basketball First and Second Rounds at the BOK Center, and the tournament manager for the 2019 NCAA Men’s Basketball First & Second Rounds.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Tomkalski is a member of the College Sports Communicators (CSC), Football Writers Association and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. In 2010, Tomkalski earned the CoSIDA, now known as CSC, 25-year award.  
Tomkalski earned his bachelor’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas (Fla.) University in 1983. He and his wife of 33 years Gary Ann will continue to reside in Tulsa.

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