John David Wicker

TitleDirector of Intercollegiate Athletics
John David Wicker
(bio entering 2023-24 season)

John David Wicker was introduced as San Diego State University’s new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics on Oct. 24, 2016.

Through his tireless efforts, Wicker has overseen numerous capital projects upon his return to The Mesa, including the construction of Snapdragon Stadium, the Aztec football program’s new state-of-the-art facility that serves as the centerpiece of the SDSU Mission Valley redevelopment plan, along with a highly anticipated River Park. Additionally, he has been at the vanguard of Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) discussion across collegiate athletics, and has played an active role in helping to shape legislation affecting the college athletic landscape at both the state and federal level.

Additionally, Wicker has overseen the development of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategic plan for the SDSU athletic department, the addition of the Aztecs Going Pro lifeskills curriculum, and numerous academic achievements by SDSU student-athletes. Not to be outdone, Wicker has also raised significant funds for the athletic department to improve the overall student-athlete experience at San Diego State. 

Since Wicker took over the reins as SDSU’s athletic director, the Aztecs have captured 26 Mountain West team championships, including six men’s basketball titles, four outdoor track and field crowns, four swimming and diving championships, three baseball titles (two tournament, one regular-season), two men's golf championships, two women’s soccer crowns, two softball titles (one regular season, one tournament). In addition, the Aztecs have won conference championships in football, women’s golf and women’s tennis during his six years at the helm. 

This last calendar year (2022-23), the SDSU men's basketball team advanced to the NCAA Championship game, becoming the first Mountain West team to make a Elite 8, Final Four or NCAA title game. The Aztec softball team also advanced to its first NCAA Super Regional and came within one game of making its first Women's College World Series. 

"When we began this (AD) search, we envisioned a person who cares about our student-athletes, whose integrity is paramount and whose competitive fire inspires greatness. In short, someone who embodies our ideal of `winning it right.' John David Wicker is that person," said then-SDSU President Elliot Hirshman at the time of Wicker’s hire.

Wicker worked as SDSU’s Deputy Athletic Director from 2011 until departing for Georgia Tech in July 2015. During his first term at SDSU, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Aztec athletics department, overseeing business operations, human resources, events and facilities, capital projects, strength and conditioning, academics, video, as well as providing sport oversight for football, rowing, and men’s and women’s basketball.

Prior to his first tour of duty at SDSU, Wicker served as Associate Athletic Director for Event and Facility Operations at Washington State from 2001-11. While at WSU, he was responsible for event planning and game day responsibilities for all home athletic events, conference tournaments and NCAA championships, day-to-day oversight and operations of all athletic facilities, and the liaison for the athletic department on capital projects.

Wicker also spent two years as Director of Event and Facility Operations at Southern Miss from 1999-2001. At USM, he managed regular season and championship event operations, coordinated day-to-day maintenance of facilities, and served as the liaison to the university on all capital projects. He also oversaw the design and initial construction of USM’s $11 million Athletic Center, which houses administrative and coaching offices, football locker room, weight room and training areas.

Earlier, Wicker spent three years at Georgia from (1996-99), where he worked for the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games in preparation for the 1996 Summer Olympics as the venue logistics manager for Sanford Stadium, home to the medal rounds for men’s and women’s soccer.

In Wicker took over an athletic department that has enjoyed great success in recent years. The football team, which has posted three consecutive 10-win seasons, made its ninth consecutive bowl game appearance in 2018. Men’s basketball has been to the postseason in 12 out of the last 14 years. Teams, from women’s track and field to men’s and women’s golf, to baseball and softball, have combined for 41 team conference championships since the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.

In 2016, Wicker took over an SDSU athletic department that has enjoyed great success in recent years. The Aztec football team set a program record with 12 victories in 2021, finishing 25th in the Associated Press final rankings. SDSU also found itself among the College Football Playoff Rankings for the first time in program history, cracking the top 25 on all six occasions last season. In addition, men's basketball is coming off another highly successful campaign in 2021-22, capped by its 14th NCAA Tournament appearance and 10th since 2002. Aztec squads, from women’s track and field to men's and women's golf, to baseball and softball, have combined for 54 team conference championships since the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.

Wicker graduated from Mississippi State in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in professional accountancy. He received his master’s degree in education with an emphasis in sports management from Georgia in 1997. 

Wicker served on the board of directors for LEAD1, which represents the athletics directors of the 133 member universities of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), that encompasses 42 states, 55,000 student athletes, and more than 25,000 athletic administrators.

Wicker, who currently serves on the Executive Committee of the San Diego Sports Association, as well as on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Food Bank, resides in Santee, California, with his wife Rachel and daughters Scarlett Anne and Waverly Lile.