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OU women's basketball: Athletics director Joe Castiglione helps shorthanded Sooners amid COVID-19 on bench at Kansas

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Joe Castiglione

OU Athletics Director Joe Castiglione during the Unity Walk on Sept. 23.

Was that him? Could it be?

Yes, it was.

Looking to aid a Sooner squad with only six active players for its conference opener at Kansas Thursday night, OU athletics director Joe Castiglione was on the women's basketball team's bench, dressed to the nines while serving water to head coach Sherri Coale's players.

Per an athletic department spokesperson, the Sooners had two managers on hand as usual and Castiglione had a seat in the arena, but he was eager to help out on the sideline. The move even surprised the play-by-play commentators on the broadcast, who had to work to confirm the volunteer manager was Oklahoma's chief athletic official.

Asked in a recent press conference about his navigation of a year ruled by COVID-19, Castiglione reaffirmed his commitment to supporting student-athletes and coaches who hope to safely compete during the sustained pandemic.

"I've tried to be just a steady hand," Castiglione said. "Very positive, encouraging, and being supportive of our staff, and have an attitude that we're going to figure this out."

Thursday night, he visibly put his words into action.

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Sports Editor

Mason Young is a journalism sophomore. He's the Daily's sports editor and covers OU football. He was previously assistant sports editor and has worked as a reporter covering OU women's gym, OU wrestling and former Sooners in the NFL.

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