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Laird Veatch announced as new University of Memphis Director of Athletics

Laird Veatch has been named Director of Athletics at the University of Memphis, UofM President M. David Rudd announced on Friday.

(UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS NEWS RELEASE) – Laird Veatch has been named Director of Athletics at the University of Memphis, UofM President M. David Rudd announced on Friday.

Veatch, who is a 25-year veteran in intercollegiate athletics, hasbeen the executive associate athletics director for internal affairs at theUniversity of Florida since July 2017. He has led the administrative oversightof capital improvement projects, event operations, facilities and strength& conditioning. He also serves as the sports administrator for football andis the primary liaison with Gator Boosters, the fundraising arm for FloridaAthletics.

“Laird’s a perfect fit for theUniversity and our City,” said Rudd. “As a former student-athlete, he brings aunique perspective and a wealth of experience at some of the nation’s leadingathletic departments, along with a strong vision for the future, a keenunderstanding of a rapidly changing landscape, unparalleled integrity andenergy, and a commitment to competing at the highest level.”

Prior to Florida, Veatch spent the seven years prior (2010-17) athis alma mater, Kansas State University, where served in a variety of roles,including both deputy athletics director and interim director of athletics.

“Through conversations with President Rudd and trustedcolleagues from around the nation about this special opportunity, it quicklybecame apparent that there is a tremendous amount of momentum in Memphis,” saidVeatch. “Together with our highly-respected University leadership, incrediblecoaches, staff and student-athletes, along with passion of the Memphis family,we have an opportunity to build an unprecedented era in Tiger Athletics.

“I am so excited to come alongside the team in placeto serve our student-athletes, University, fans and community! My family and Iare truly grateful. We can’t wait to develop new friendships and earn the rightto be called Memphians.”

Veatch provided oversight to the K-State athletic department’ssenior staff on strategic direction, fundraising, fan experience, ticket salesand multimedia rights. He was the lead manager of new capital projects,including fundraising, design vision and oversight of construction for morethan $210 million in new facility projects, highlighted by an $85 millionwest-side football stadium expansion and a $65 million football-trainingcomplex. The Vanier Family Football Complex was completed in just seven monthsbetween football seasons.

Before returning to K-State, Veatch spent seven years withLearfield Sports (2003-10), including the last four as regional vice president(2006-10). As regional vice president of Learfield Sports’ Heartland Division,he was responsible for the leadership and oversight of eight Div. I multimediarights departments, including four new start-up properties.

Learfield Sports first hired Veatch in 2003 as the general managerfor Mizzou Sports Properties before his promotion to regional vice president in2006. In that role, he coordinated all multimedia activities within theMissouri Athletics Department’s external operations team and directed allMizzou Sports Properties staff, activities and performance.

Prior to Learfield, Veatch spent a short time in athleticadministration at Iowa State (2002-03) as senior associate athletics directorfor external operations, serving as the senior advisor to the athleticsdirector and directing all external operations units, including marketing,development, media relations and event management.

He spent his formative years at Missouri (1997-2002), the lastthree as assistant athletics director for development, where he oversawfundraising activities for the athletics department with special emphasis onfacility and capital fundraising projects. A major contributor to Mizzou’srecord growth in total giving, Veatch managed the Tiger Scholarship fund annualgiving program and directed Mizzou’s $102 million comprehensive CapitalCampaign.

Veatch began his professional career in 1995 at the University ofTexas, assisting with the development program as well as the external affairsarea as a graduate assistant while earning his master’s degree in sports administrationin 1997.

Veatch received his bachelor’s degree in business administrationfrom Kansas State in 1995 where he was a four-year letterman at linebacker forCollege Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder from 1990-94 and served as teamcaptain as a senior. He was a starter on K-State’s Copper and Aloha Bowl teamsin 1993 and 1994 and earned honorable mention All-Big Eight Conference honorsin 1994.

He was also a two-time CFA Academic All-American, was AcademicAll-Big Eight four times and was a Hitachi/CFA Scholar-Athlete in 1994.

Veatch and his wife, Brandy, have three daughters, Jordyn, Taylorand Sydney, and one son, Dru.

Veatch will be formally announced at a press conference in thenear future. Details to follow.

Legacy and Distinguished Directors Dinner on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at the Florida Indoor Practice Facility in Gainesville, FL / UAA Communications photo by Alex de la Osa

Laird Veatch Professional Experience:

  • July 2017-19: University of Florida (Executive Associate Athletics Director, Internal Affairs)
  • 2016-17: Kansas State University (Deputy Athletics Director & Chief of Staff)
  • 2015-16: Kansas State University (Deputy Athletics Director)
  • 2013-15: Kansas State University (Executive Associate Athletics Director)
  • 2012-13: Kansas State University (Senior Associate Athletics Director for Strategic Initiatives)
  • 2010-12: Kansas State University (Associate Athletics Director for Capital Support)
  • 2006-10: Learfield Sports, Heartland Division (Regional Vice President)
  • 2003-06: Learfield Sports, Mizzou Sports Properties (General Manager)
  • 2002-03: Iowa State University (Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Operations)
  • 2000-02: University of Missouri (Assistant Athletics Director for Development)
  • 1998-2000: University of Missouri (Director of Athletics Development for Major Giving)
  • 1997-98: University of Missouri (Director of Annual Giving & Development Coordinator)
  • 1995-97: University of Texas (Graduate Assistant for External Operations & the Longhorn Foundation)

What They are Saying about Laird Veatch:

Mike Alden, former University of Missouri Director of Athletics

“I have known Laird Veatch for over 20 years. Whileworking together at the University of Missouri, it was evident that Lairdpossessed great passion and commitment to intercollegiate athletics and student-athletedevelopment. Throughout his career, he has displayed solid core values, anoutstanding work ethic, teamwork and humility. He is truly a servant leader.Brandy, Laird and their family will be a great addition to the University.Congratulations to President Rudd and the University of Memphis on a ‘home run’hire!”

Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 Conference Commissioner

“Laird Veatch is an outstanding athletics administrator who hasconsistently demonstrated the energy and insights to lead at the highestlevels. In appointing Laird, the University of Memphis has invested in a verybright future.”

Greg Brown, Learfield IMG College President and CEO

“Laird is the absolute perfect hire for Memphis as itsnext Director of Athletics. He is the ultimate student-athlete success story.Laird was part of Coach Bill Snyder’s first recruiting class at K-State, wherehe was captain of the football team and a two-time Academic All-American. He’sa tremendous athletics administrator, fundraiser and capital improvementproject manager. He honed those skills under strong leaders and programs atTexas, Missouri, K-State and Florida. He spent seven years at Learfield Sportsas a multimedia rights GM, corporate executive, trusted confidant to me andmentor to others. Laird is personable, likeable, a terrific family man and aperson of faith. He’s excelled everywhere he’s been, and I know he will doexactly that at Memphis. Laird is an ideal choice to lead Tiger Nation’sathletics program.”

Joseph R. Castiglione Sr., University of Oklahoma VicePresident/Director of Athletics

“Congratulations to the University of Memphisand President Rudd on this masterful hire. Laird Veatch is clearly thetotal package as a rising star in our profession today. I’ve been blessed to bepart of Laird’s career journey, and I can say with certainty that he’s aswell-prepared, passionate, values-centered leaders that I’ve ever beenaround. People are just drawn to him. From his success as astudent-athlete, through his experiences both in higher education and theprivate sector, he’s as ready for this opportunity as anyone I know. TheMemphis family will truly enjoy getting to know Laird, Brandy and theirbeautiful family. Great success is ahead for the Tigers.”

Jeremy Foley, former University of Florida Director of Athletics

“In the limited time I’ve been around Laird Veatch, Ican see why he is considered one of the young, bright and respectedprofessionals in collegiate athletics. He is engaging with his constituents atevery level and is strategic and deliberate in his planning and organization.He was a tremendous asset for the Gator Athletic program during his time here.The University of Memphis is in great hands and is well positioned forincredible success under Laird’s leadership.”

Kirby Hocutt, Texas Tech University Director ofAthletics

“I congratulate the University of Memphis on makingthe absolute best hire for their Athletics Director position. I have known Lairdfor 30 years and have the upmost respect and admiration for him. He has been myteammate, captain, colleague and most importantly, friend. There is not abetter man than Laird Veatch, and the University of Memphis will greatlybenefit from his leadership. Additionally, the City of Memphis will benefitwith Laird, Brandy and their family being a part of their community.”

Cato Johnson, UofM Board of Trustees; Executive Committee andSenior Vice President, Public Policy / RegulatoryAffairs & Chief of Staff for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

“I have had numerous, extensive conversations with Laird, and Ibelieve he is the ideal candidate for this particular time in University ofMemphis history. His 25 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics and hisengaging personality will be a perfect fit as the University of MemphisAthletics Department continues to make great strides. The Veatch family is verypersonable and has demonstrated that they will truly engage with the communityand quickly become immersed in Memphis culture.”

Dave North, Chair of the UofM Board of Trustees; President andChief Executive Officer of Sedgwick

“It is with great excitement that I welcome Laird and his familyto the Memphis community and Tiger Nation. As a former student-athlete, Lairdhas worked his way through many levels of athletic administration, making himvery well-rounded and prepared to lead University of Memphis athletics. Hisenergy and experience will assist our student-athletes, coaches and staff incompeting at the absolute highest level. I am thrilled with this importantdecision.”

Greg Sankey, Southeastern Conference Commissioner

“Laird distinguished himself during his career as anathlete and a leader as a member of the football team at Kansas State. He hasgained vast experience throughout his nearly 25 years working in all kinds ofroles, which provide him with a solid foundation as he transitions to leadingthe Memphis Athletics Department. In a short time, Laird and his family becameimportant contributors in the University of Florida community, and Icongratulate President Rudd and the University of Memphis for adding a greatleader and great family. I am confident Laird will quickly and effectively makea positive impact on the Tigers’ athletics program.”

Scott Stricklin, University of Florida Director of Athletics

“Laird Veatch is a talented administrator and aspecial person. His unique blend of intelligence, vision, humility and kindnessmake him one of the most valuable and well-liked colleagues I’ve ever had thepleasure of working alongside. Laird and his family have made a significantimpact on Gator Nation, and Memphis is going to benefit immensely from theirpresence.”