OXFORD, Ohio– Miami University President David Hodge announced Thursday that David Sayler had been selected to serve as the school’s new director of athletics.
Sayler, who spent the past two and half years leading the athletics department at the University of South Dakota, will be the 16th director of athletics in Miami University history.
Former athletic director Brad Bates resigned from the position in October to take over the athletic director duties at Boston College.
The 43-year-old Sayler is scheduled to begin his new duties in early January 2013.
"It was quickly apparent that David's values align strongly with Miami -- putting the student-athlete first, insisting on the highest levels of integrity, and being fiercely competitive," President Hodge was quoted as saying in a press release from the university. "He has deep experience at a variety of universities and has been a sitting AD. I look forward to his leadership advancing our intercollegiate athletics."
Sayler stated his respect for the history and tradition of Miami University athletics and the challenges that face him to reinvigorate the university’s athletics department have him excited to take on his new duties in Oxford.
"I am both thrilled and honored to be the next Athletic Director at Miami University," Sayler was quoted in a Miami University press release. "I have always admired all that Miami stands for and to have the chance to lead the department into the future is very exciting. RedHawk fans should take pride in the commitment to excellence that President Hodge and the Board of Trustees have made in regards to Miami athletics. Revenue generation will be the key to our future and I am anxious to begin working with our tremendous alumni base to make that future as bright as it can be."
As athletic director at South Dakota, Sayler secured USD's 2012 membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and led the way for university’s aggressive Master Facilities Plan, which included new facilities for basketball, outdoor track and field, and soccer. Sayler played a major role in securing a $20 million private gift, the largest single contribution in South Dakota athletics history. He also raised funds for a new basketball floor, which was introduced during 2011-12 season, and turf for the football field that was debuted in the fall of 2012.
Coyote student-athletes thrived in the classroom during Sayler's time at South Dakota, posting a grade-point average of over 3.1. USD won the Summit League's Institutional Academic Achievement Award in 2011-12, which goes to the school that has the highest percentage of list-eligible athletes on the Summit League Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence.
Sayler also oversaw the hiring of two head coaches during his tenure at South Dakota and was instrumental in the athletic department signing an apparel and shoe contract with Adidas in February 2012.
Prior to joining USD, Sayler served as senior executive athletic director at Rice University for four years, while also heading the department as interim athletic director from October 2009 to March 2010. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the entire athletic department, directly overseeing all internal operations, as well as providing administrative oversight for all 16 of Rice’s varsity sports. He also assisted with the development of a strategic plan for Rice athletics and served as the administrator of that plan for the department.
Sayler also was a key figure in several facility projects across campus. He directed the funding model, planning and building of a $26 million renovation of Autry Court, as well as the $41 million construction of a recreation center. Under his watch, the athletics department at Rice had a balanced budget for fiscal years 2007 and 2008, the first times that had ever occurred under the Board of Trustees-approved budget funding model for athletics.
In addition to his time at South Dakota and Rice, Sayler served two years in the senior athletic administration at Oregon State University and four years at Bowling Green State University. He has also been part of the athletic staffs at the University of Houston, the University of Hartford, the University of Georgia and the University of Connecticut.
After graduation from Ohio Wesleyan University (1991) with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, Sayler worked three years in the private sector, spending time with Ernst & Young in Cleveland and Peterson Consulting in Chicago.
Sayler, born Sept. 6, 1969 in Greenwich, Conn., is married to the former Katie Fitzgerald of Bowling Green, Ohio. The couple has two sons, Connor Jameson (who turns 6 in January) and Liam Patrick (3).
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