|Position:||Director of Athletics|
|Alma Mater:||Minnesota State-Mankato, 1992|
After serving in the role of Interim Director of Athletics since October 2012, Blake James was named the University of Miami's Director of Athletics on Feb. 8, 2013. Prior to his Interim AD role, he served as Miami's Senior Associate AD for Development and Ticket Operations. James oversaw the day-to-day operations of development, ticket sales and ticket operations. He was also a member of the Hurricanes' senior staff and provided sport supervision.
James is currently in the fourth year of his third stint at the University of Miami.
Since becoming Athletic Director, Hurricanes’ athletics facilities have undergone much-needed upgrades. He oversaw the opening of the Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence, which houses the DiMare Gallery of Champions, full-service academic area, offices, computer lab and the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Football Locker Room. Other upgrades include: a new FieldTurf practice field for football via the Football Victory Fund, a new $1 million state-of-the-art center-hung scoreboard at BankUnited Center, and a new playing surface at Cobb Stadium for both the soccer and track programs.
Under James’ watch, Hurricanes student-athletes have also excelled in the classroom. In the 2014 NCAA APR report, every Miami program registered an APR score of at least 960, with nine teams scoring 990 or better out of a possible 1,000 points. Additionally, Miami’s 2013 Graduation Success Rate (GSR) was 92 percent, which ranked 10th overall among FBS programs, and Miami has exceeded the NCAA average GSR in each of the last nine years.
Away from the Coral Gables campus, UM student-athletes have steadily increased their role in the surrounding South Florida community. Every year, Hurricanes student-athletes register thousands of hours of community service, including trips to elementary schools, donor drives, hospital visits, and other various community outreach programs. In June 2014, James and Miami’s external staff created the #RENEWED Bus, giving Miami staff and student-athletes a chance to personally thank football season-ticket holders.
James came to UM after spending seven years the University of Maine, where he first served as Senior Associate Athletic Director before serving as Director of Athletics from July 2005 to September 2010. As Senior Associate AD, his primary responsibilities focused on marketing, ticketing, retail operations, athletic development along with men's and women's track and field, cross country, men's soccer, men's basketball and baseball.
During his tenure at Maine, athletics experienced tremendous success, including three trips to the Frozen Four for the men's ice hockey program and NCAA playoff berths for football, baseball (two), women's basketball and softball. Additionally, James implemented a comprehensive $17 million facility improvement plan, which included an indoor practice facility and numerous other facility upgrades and renovations. Academically, the program flourished, earning the conference academic cup twice and maintaining better than a 3.0 GPA.
Prior to his stint at Maine, he worked in athletic development at Providence College, where he established the "Friars Forever" campaign and the Friar Athletic Fund.
James is no stranger to South Florida, beginning his athletic career with the University of Miami, working in ticket sales, corporate sales and athletic development. In April 1995, he was hired as Miami's Director of Ticket Sales, serving in that capacity until October 1997, when he was named an athletic development officer at the University of Nebraska. He returned to Miami in 1998 as the Director of Major Gifts and Corporate Sales. He was promoted to the Director of Athletic Development at Miami in March 2000 before moving on to Providence in 2002.
He graduated from Minnesota State University - Mankato with a bachelor's degree in marketing in 1992 and later received his master's degree from St. Thomas University in 1994.
He and his wife, Kelly, have two children: daughter, Haley, and son, Ryan.