The College of Charleston has named three finalists for the position of athletics director.
The search committee has selected the following three candidates: Bryan Blair (senior associate athletics director, Rice University), Michael Alford (senior associate athletic director, University of Oklahoma) and Matt Roberts (deputy athletics director, Southern Methodist University).
The candidates visited campus on Oct. 17-18, 2016, for interviews with the search committee and meetings with coaches, faculty, staff, student-athletes and college administrators.
The new athletics director will succeed Joe Hull, who served in that role from 2007 to December 2016.
The search committee is chaired by Steve Osborne, executive vice president of business affairs.
Bryan Blair is the senior associate athletics director of sports administration at Rice University. He serves as a member of the athletics department’s senior staff, while coordinating all aspects of the athletics department’s compliance program, which serves 16 NCAA Division I sports. Blair is also the sports administrator for the women’s soccer and men’s and women’s track and field and cross-country programs.
Before joining Rice, Blair served as assistant director of compliance services at the University of South Carolina, where he was the primary liaison to four SEC sports, providing rules education and interpretations.
A former Division I football letterman and team captain, Blair graduated from Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C. The Bennettsville, S.C., native received his law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Michael Alford is the senior associate athletics director for development for the University of Oklahoma. He joined OU from the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, where he served as senior director of corporate partnerships and sales from 2008 to 2012.
At OU, Alford oversees the ongoing efforts of the Sooner Club, the principal fundraising arm of OU Athletics. He also directs the efforts of the Varsity “O” Association, engaging former Oklahoma student-athletes as lifelong ambassadors for their alma mater. Alford serves as the sport administrator for men’s basketball, as well as men’s and women’s tennis.
Before his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys, Alford served as the general manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing from 2004 to 2008, a joint venture between the University of Alabama Department of Athletics and ISP Sports/Learfield Sports. He also served as an assistant to the director of athletics, where his duties included the negotiation and implementation of coaching contracts.
Alford’s initial foray into professional sports came with the Cincinnati Bengals from 1997 to 2000. He served as director of group sales and corporate entertainment and as a corporate sales executive, securing sponsorships, in addition to managing suite and club seat sales for Paul Brown Stadium. He began his career in collegiate athletics as the assistant director of marketing at the University of Cincinnati from 1996 to 1997.
A graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alford earned a bachelor’s in communications arts in 1993 and completed a master’s in athletics administration at the University of Arkansas in 1995.
Matt Roberts is the deputy athletics director at Southern Methodist University, having joined SMU in 2012. At deputy athletics director, Roberts administer the day-to-day operations of the entire athletics department and serves as the administrative liaison for the football and men’s basketball programs. He also assists in the development of a departmental strategic plan, community engagement and customer service initiatives, and in the coordination of SMU post-season travel.
Before his current tenure at SMU, Roberts was the associate athletics director of development at Oklahoma University. At OU, Roberts’ primary responsibility was the overall administration and leadership of the athletics development office, including oversight of the Sooner Club, major gift and endowment programs. In addition to his development duties, Roberts also served as sport administrator for men’s and women’s tennis as well as supervisor of the OU Tennis Club and Varsity O Association.
Prior to arriving in Norman, Roberts served as assistant director of marketing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From 2001 to 2003, he coordinated the marketing for men’s and women’s soccer, women’s basketball and men’s and women’s lacrosse. Before moving to marketing, Matt served one year in the UNC ticket office as the assistant ticket manager.
A 1997 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Roberts holds a bachelor’s in exercise and sports sciences. While at North Carolina, he was a walk-on pitcher for the Tar Heels and finished his college career as an undergraduate assistant coach, working with the Tar Heel pitching staff. He later attended Ohio University and earned a master’s of sports administration in 1999.