Sam Lagana, Associate Vice Chancellor at Pepperdine University, is responsible for defining, executing and directing an Advancement effort that benefits Waves Athletics and specialized University-wide programs and campaigns. A primary focus is assisting University alumni, parents and friends with charitable giving that improves the University resources, scholarships, operations and endowment. Interacting on a regular basis with many constituents of the University, bringing new friends into the Pepperdine Family, planning and implementing a number of regular and special activities as well as hosting meetings of the Pepperdine Athletics Board are among Lagana’s responsibilities.
The synergized Advancement effort incorporates the entire Pepperdine coaching and athletics staff, key administrators along with team members from the University Advancement & Public Affairs Division and participants in regional Community, Alumni and Parent organizations.
Lagana, who arrived at Pepperdine in 2002, has 25 years of experience in sports administration and executive management expertise in external affairs business specializations such as advancement, development, community relations, marketing, promotions, public relations, television & radio presentation and sponsorships.
During a professional tenure at the historic Los Angeles Athletic Club (1996-2001), Lagana served as the Executive Director of the John R. Wooden Award, directed Athletics and the Sports Marketing & Business Development Division. Lagana served a one year term as National Director of Sports at the renowned Josephson Institute of Ethics in Los Angeles.
Prior to assuming the reins of the Wooden Award, Lagana handled duties of the Director of Athletics at Cal State Dominguez Hills (1994-95), while serving as Associate Director of Athletics. He was Assistant Director of Athletics at Cal State Northridge when the Matadors were elevated to the NCAA Division I level of competition. During the 1980s, Lagana managed numerous sporting events while directing promotions and public relations for the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Pro Beach Volleyball Tour.
A member of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission Advisory Board, the John R. Wooden Award Steering Committee and the executive board of the Palisades-Malibu YMCA, Lagana is also active with the West Coast Sports Associates, a Breakfast Club in downtown LA and American Legion Squadron 283. He is an adjunct professor of Marketing in the Business Division of Seaver College at Pepperdine.
Notable awards presented to Lagana include the Robert Lindsay Award for meritorious service to USA Volleyball (2000), the Los Angeles Athletic Club “Duke Award” for outstanding and continuing contributions to club activities and sports in Los Angeles (2004), the Mort Farberow Award for Pacific Palisades Businessman of the Year (2007), and a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles (2009) for community leadership and dedication presented by Mayor Villaraigosa.
Sam is a recognized commercial voice-over talent, emcee and sports announcer. His announcing credits include: television appearances on ABC, NBC, ESPN and Fox Sports as well as AVP & FIVB Beach Volleyball, Los Angeles Avengers Arena Football, the Arena Bowl, Davis Cup Tennis, EA Sports – College Basketball video game, Collegiate Sporting contests and the motion picture “Sideout.”
He resides in the Los Angeles area beachside town of Pacific Palisades with his wife Eileen and daughters Cambria and Cienna.