Keith Gill named UR’s new athletic director

Keith Gill, former athletic director of American University, will become the new athletic director of UR beginning next month.

The University of Richmond announced today that Keith Gill will become its new Director of Athletics. Gill, 40, has served as athletic director at American University since 2007, during which AU won 25 team conference championships and produced 25 All-Americans. His new role with the Spiders will begin on December 11th.

Below is the full letter from University of Richmond president, Ed Ayers, announcing the news:

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

It is a pleasure to let you know of the appointment of Keith Gill as Director of Athletics, effective December 11. Keith brings to Richmond an outstanding record of ensuring competitive success and student-athlete success. His own experience as a student-athlete and his work at the NCAA and with a range of successful intercollegiate programs have given him a broad perspective. He is widely regarded for his leadership, integrity, and commitment to student-athletes, as well as his deep engagement in the wider University community and innovative collaboration across campus.

At American University since 2007, he has led a department with 16 Division I sports and 260 student-athletes, including campus recreation. Under his leadership last year, 121 student-athletes were named to the Dean’s List and the average student-athlete GPA was 3.36. The most recent student-athlete graduation success rate was 99%. He has also focused on the total development of student-athletes, through creation of a Life Skills initiative, personal financial literacy curriculum, and leadership development program.

During the last five years, American has won 25 team conference championships and produced 16 individual conference champions and 25 All-Americans. The Men’s Basketball program won back-to-back Patriot League regular season and tournament championships and made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Wrestling finished a record 5th at the 2011 NCAA championship, and Field Hockey and Women’s Volleyball competed in four of the last five NCAA Championships. Women’s Basketball has won the Patriot League regular season championship four of the last five years. Keith has also balanced the budget and increased revenue through ticket sales, licensing royalties, sponsorships, and fundraising.

Keith will provide strong leadership to Spider Athletics as we seek to sustain continued competitive excellence while fostering the success of all of our student-athletes in the classroom and their ability to take advantage of the remarkable range of co-curricular opportunities Richmond offers.

Before joining American, Keith was Senior Associate Director of Athletics at the University of Oklahoma from 2004 to 2007, serving as a senior manager of a department with some 600 student-athletes and 20 sports. He oversaw Men’s Basketball and Baseball (both of which competed in two NCAA tournaments during that time), Women’s Soccer, compliance, strategic planning, and annual planning, and was deeply engaged in facilities projects. Earlier, he was Assistant Director of Athletics at Vanderbilt University. He has also served twice at the NCAA in Membership Services. As Director of Membership Services from 2000 to 2004, he oversaw the NCAA Compliance Review program, directed the day-to-day operation of the NCAA Division I Athletics Certification program, and reviewed the operations of some 200 Division I athletics departments through campus visits or written self-studies.

Keith holds a master’s degree from Oklahoma and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, where he was a four-year letterman in football.

I am grateful to the search committee for their work attracting an excellent pool of candidates and recruiting an outstanding new leader for Spider Athletics. The committee was chaired by Provost Steve Allred and included representation from the faculty, Athletics, and the Board, and from key administrative areas such as Student Development and Enrollment Management.

I am also grateful to Jim Miller for his strong leadership as AD for more than a decade and look forward to opportunities to recognize him in the coming weeks.

I also look forward to welcoming Keith and his partner, Tiffany Speaks, to our community; to working with Keith to build on the significant achievements and overall excellence of Spider Athletics; and to his contributions as a member of the University’s senior leadership team.

Ed Ayers

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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