CORAL GABLES, Fla. - The University of Miami has announced today that Blake James has been hired as the new Director of Athletics. James has served as the interim Director of Athletics since October 2012.
"Blake James has proven that he has the experience, skills, leadership and especially the love for the University that we need in Athletics," said University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala.
Comprising 17 different sports, the UM Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is dedicated to developing and supporting the University’s 400-plus student-athletes in their efforts to achieve personal, academic and athletic excellence. UM student-athletes have won 21 team National Championships, 71 individual National Championships, and earned 400-plus All-America honors.
"Having spent more than nine years at the University of Miami, I understand what an honor and tremendous responsibility it is to serve as Director of Athletics," said James. "My passion for this institution, the students, the staff and our fans, is matched only by my commitment to excellence in everything that we do. I want to thank President Shalala and the Board of Trustees for their support and I look forward to many great days ahead at The U."
James returned to UM for the third time in 2010 after spending seven years at the University of Maine, the last five as the Director of Athletics.
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 athletics development at Providence College, where he established the "Friars Forever" campaign and the Friar Athletic Fund, as well as having spent two tenures at UM in ticket sales and development.
James holds a bachelor's degree in marketing from Minnesota State University - Mankato and a master's degree in sports management from St. Thomas University. He and his wife, Kelly, have two children, Haley and Ryan.