Motivate through Action: “To lead is to serve.” A powerful and rare idea in a world that’s driven by ego and reputation, but to Zac Selmon, it’s a way of life. To motivate those around him he uses action, giving of himself before he ever asks for or expects commitment from others. As the Senior Associate AD, he ensures that he is serving his student-athletes first, then the donor base, faculty, staff, and those that have lead the university to where they are today.
Driven by service, faith, and family, Selmon consistently strives to be the best version of himself, a great example to his two daughters, wife, and those he interacts with professionally. Relying on his “unwavering belief in the life lessons that (participation in) intercollegiate athletics teaches.” He believes that his actions and encouragement can set the stage for success.
As he thinks back on his career, Zac Selmon recalls an experience from his undergraduate years at Wake Forest University when his football team was slated to place last in the preseason poll and then went on to win the ACC championship. They shouldn’t have won, but they came together, worked hard, and ultimately surprised everyone who was watching. They motivated one another and focused on the end goal. He applies that same concept to the work he does in Oklahoma, understanding that it’s okay not to have all the answers, as long as you’re willing to put in the work. His aim is to build an “environment of innovation and creativity” through service. And we think he’s well on his way.
His service-led leadership extends beyond his work life, too. Selmon and his sister Shannon Selmon-Carter, who played basketball at OU, co-founded the Shine Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving those in need, with an emphasis on children’s projects in West Africa. They are still heavily involved with the organization. And with all the personal and professional success Selmon isn’t done yet. He’s concentrating on “just getting better every day, being intentional about the input and trusting that the output will take care of itself.” He grew up in a family of professional football players, but rather than being caught up on comparisons, his family never put any pressure on him to follow in their footsteps. His takeaway? “Success means a lot of different things to a lot of different people…if I can take the talents and the abilities that I was blessed with and maximize those and be true to who I am than I’m successful.”
AD Joe Castiglione says it best, “From the day we appointed him as a graduate assistant and then hired him full-time in our development office, we could see Zac would be a rising star in our profession.”
We agree and are excited to honor Zac Selmon for who he is and his contributions past, present and future.