Newcomer AD Yantko has been named to the College Sports 40 Under-40 list

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

Jantko, 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 incredibly humbled by this recognition from The Athletic,” Jantko said. “I have been extremely fortunate to work with incredible colleagues, coaches and student-athletes at a number of outstanding institutions. It’s a direct reflection of all of these people, and I can’t wait to continue this incredible journey as Murray State’s director of athletics.”

Jantko 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 the 10thth full-time AD in Murray State history as the university celebrates its 100th yearth 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 their talents to the CFSB Center on Saturday, September 17, 2022. The concert is presented by KentuckyCare as part of their Hope for a Cure Concert Series and recovery. Smith is an American singer, songwriter and musician from Harlan, Kentucky. Smith began singing in his church choir and continued through college 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 Nov. 11 at the CFSB Center. The Class of 2022 will also be recognized on Nov. 12 at the Racer football game against Robert Morris (1 p.m. kickoff) and a men’s basketball game against a yet-to-be-determined opponent. Tickets for the Hall of Fame Dinner can be purchased at the MSU Box Office online at

About Murray State Athletics
Located in Murray, Kentucky, the Murray State University athletics 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 rifle team. The Racers became members of the Missouri Valley Conference on July 1, 2022. The Racers will become members 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 distinctive community on campus – the Racer Family. With nearly 10,000 students, Murray State is preparing 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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