TOWSON, Md. – Towson University President Dr. Maravene Loeschke today named Tim Leonard as the university’s new athletic director, effective August 19. Leonard is currently Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs at Southern Methodist University (SMU).
NOTE: Leonard will be introduced to the Towson University community and the media at a news conference scheduled for tomorrow (Friday, August 2) at 11 a.m. in the Minnegan Room of the Unitas Stadium Field House.
Leonard’s selection as Towson’s new athletic director follows a national search led by a Search Advisory Committee chaired by Donald C. Fry, President and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.
“We are very excited to have someone of Tim Leonard’s caliber joining our team here at Towson University,” President Loeschke said. “He is a professional administrator with 21 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics. He is a proven leader with a demonstrated ability to create strong and cohesive teams, and work cooperatively across academic and administrative departments.
“Tim is poised to take our athletic program to the next level of excellence,” President Loeschke added. “He shares our philosophy that we must put academics first and that we must create and support opportunities for our student-athletes to develop their full academic, athletic, and leadership potential. He shares our values and I look forward to working closely with him to take our athletic program to new levels of excellence and vitality.”
Leonard has served as senior associate athletic director at SMU since 2008. He also was the Mustangs’ interim director of athletics between May and August 2012. Prior to coming to SMU, Leonard served in a series of increasingly responsible positions at the University of Central Florida, including assistant vice president for athletics development and associate athletic director, assistant AD for development, and assistant AD for external operations.
He is a member of the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) and was the 2012 recipient of NAADD’s Athletic Fundraiser of the Year award.
Leonard’s athletics career also includes positions at Boise State University, where he was assistant director of the Bronco Athletic Association, and at Illinois State University, where he served as director of annual giving.
“We met with a strong pool of candidates during our search, and Tim Leonard clearly stood out above the rest,” said Fry, who led the Towson athletic director search. “He has the ideal background and experience to drive the momentum that Towson athletics has enjoyed over the past couple of years and carry forward the excitement that has been created on campus for our athletics program.
“Tim’s over-riding strengths are his ability to raise money, and his ability to work with faculty, academics, and athletics,” Fry added. “He understands what a successful Division I athletics program should look like and aspire to be.”
Leonard is a graduate of Boise State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications. In addition to his affiliation with NAADD, he is also a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
“My family and I are ecstatic to be joining the Towson University family and the Baltimore community,” Leonard said. “After visiting with the search committee, I learned that Towson is committed to having a nationally competitive athletics program. My conversations with President Loeschke also convinced me that Towson University is where I want to be.”
A native of Twin Falls, Idaho, Leonard and his wife, Monica, have two children, Hayley and Nathan.
Bill Carr of Carr Sports Consulting, LLC assisted Fry and the advisory committee with the university’s athletic director search.
Towson University offers the most comprehensive sports program in the Baltimore area, fielding 19 varsity teams that compete in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Since joining the league in 2001-02, the Tigers have won CAA titles in men’s and women’s lacrosse, women’s swimming and diving, baseball, volleyball, and men’s golf. This past season, the Tigers enjoyed their finest year since joining the CAA, as Towson captured a combined seven CAA regular-season and/or tournament championships.
Leonard will replace Mike Waddell, who resigned as Towson’s athletic director this past May to take a position as senior associate athletic director for external operations and strategic communications at the University of Arkansas.
Tricia Turley Brandenburg has served as interim director of athletics since June 3.