WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) –Longtime Wichita State Assistant AD for Media Relations Larry Rankin passed away on August 9, 2019 after a two-year battle with esophageal cancer. Rankin worked for the Shockers for more than 25 years.
“We are saddened to learn today of the passing of Larry Rankin,” said Darron Boatright, Director of Athletics. “Larry served as Assistant AD of Media Relations for over 25 years and amassed friends and relationships all across the country, while representing Shocker Athletics. Our thoughts are with Denise, Garrett, Bailey and Wyatt as they remain an integral part of the Shocker Athletics family.”
Rankin, 51, joined the WSU staff in September, 1992 as an assistant sports information director. He took over responsibility of the media relations office as sports information director in 1994 and became an assistant athletic director in 1998.
His responsibilities also included media relations for athletic events hosted by WSU, including duties as media coordinator for the 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2002 NCAA Baseball Regionals, assistant media coordinator for the 1994 NCAA Men’s Basketball Division I Midwest Regional First/Second Round and assistant media coordinator for the 1994 NCAA Midwest II Baseball Regional.
Highlights of his tenure at WSU included handling the media relations effort for the 2013 NCAA Final Four men’s basketball team, 1996 College World Series baseball team and 2006 NCAA Sweet 16 men’s basketball team.
He also oversaw the media relations campaign for Roundhouse Renaissance, the $25 million reconstruction of Charles Koch Arena.
In October of 2017, he was awarded the Missouri Valley Conference’s Most Courageous Award, which is presented to a past or present student-athlete, coach or university administrator who demonstrates unusual courage in the face of personal illness, adversity or tragedy and whose behavior reflects honor on the institution or the Conference.
The Stillwater, Okla., native graduated from Oklahoma State in 1992 with a degree in journalism/public relations. He was a member of the SID staff at OSU from 1986-92, and handled day-to-day media relations for OSU’s 1989 and 1990 National Championship wrestling teams, as well as the 1991 Sweet 16 women’s basketball team.
He also served as coordinator of media relations for the 1989 NCAA Wrestling Championship in Oklahoma City while at Oklahoma State.
He is survived by his wife Denise and their three children, Garrett, 23, Bailey, 19, and Wyatt, 11.
Funeral arrangements are pending. Click here to support the family.