SAN ANTONIO — UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos announced today that Sean Cartell has been named Senior Associate Athletics Director for Strategic Communications.
A veteran of the intercollegiate athletics communications industry for two decades, Cartell comes to San Antonio following a three-year stint at the Sun Belt Conference, where he served as an assistant commissioner before being promoted to Associate Commissioner for Communications & Branding in July 2023.
“We’re thrilled to announce Sean Cartell as our Senior Associate Athletics Director for Strategic Communications,” Campos said. “Over the past year as we prepared for our transition to the American Athletic Conference, we were very intentional about expanding our external staff, which includes enhancing our strategic communications operation. We’re confident in Sean’s abilities and skillset as a perfect fit for this new leadership role.”
“Sean will be a tremendous asset to our external operation as we continue to grow the UTSA Athletics brand locally, regionally and nationally,” Deputy Athletics Director for External Affairs Brad Smith said. “He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the communications realm working directly with student-athletes, coaches, staff and media. We already have a sound foundation in this area, so we’re excited to add someone of his caliber to help elevate our strategic communications efforts.”
“I am incredibly excited to join the UTSA Athletics family,” Cartell said. “I want to thank Dr. Lisa Campos and Dr. Brad Smith for entrusting me with this role working in partnership with our strategic communications team. I look forward to serving our student-athletes, coaches, staff, fans and media members.”
During his time with the Sun Belt, he served as the secondary communications contact for football and the primary communications contact for volleyball, men’s basketball, beach volleyball and men's and women's golf. His leadership role in communications, marketing and branding helped increase the conference’s social media engagements by 232 percent over a two-year span across Twitter/X, Facebook and Instagram.
Cartell was a key contributor to the Sun Belt’s billboard presence in New York’s Times Square in September 2022, which — along with an appearance on ESPN’s College GameDay — was part of the Sun Belt’s generation of more than 155,000 social media engagements. He also launched the Sun Belt’s first podcast “Around the Sun,” which appears on all major podcast platforms, and the Sun Belt’s weekly e-newsletter “Around the Sun,” which went to an audience of more than 2,000 members working within the Sun Belt Conference.
Prior to his time at the Sun Belt, Cartell spent more than five years at Texas as associate media relations director, working with the Longhorns' nationally prominent women's basketball, women's golf and rowing programs. He also oversaw the media relations student assistant program for Texas Athletics. He completed UT’s Collegiate Athletics Talent and Professional Leadership Training (CATAPLT) program, and he was a member of UT Athletics’ Diversity and Inclusion Council, and the Gender Equity Subcommittee.
Cartell previously held athletics communications roles at Santa Fe College (2003-04), Kentucky (2004-08), UCF (2008) and Florida (2008-11). He received the 2008 Collegiate Volleyball Update RESPecting Volleyball Award and he was the 2007 (Kentucky) and 2008 (Florida) South Region SID of the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s Grant Burger media award.
Working at the Southeastern Conference from 2011-15, Cartell served as the conference's first sport administrator and championship director for equestrian and worked with SECU, the conference's academic initiative.
Cartell, who has staffed more than 30 NCAA and conference postseason championship events, was the 2015 College Sports Communicators (CSC, formerly CoSIDA) Rising Star Award Recipient and graduated from the CSC’s 2022-23 Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship Class.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in integrated strategic communications from Kentucky in 2007 and his master’s degree in sport studies from Tulane in 2022 with a 4.0 GPA and graduate certificates in sport administration and sport coaching. He earned his accreditation in public relations from the Public Relations Society of America in January 2022.