The Stalwart

Bryan Blair



Bryan Blair is well on his way to impacting the University of Toledo in huge ways and we are excited that
he is here. He serves as the Vice President, Intercollegiate Athletics and Director Athletics. Bryan began
his position in May of 2022 and in just over one year on the job, he is managing a team of leaders that
has focused on and been successful at elevating not only the athletic talents and academic status of The
University of Toledo student athletes, but also the overall status of the university in the Mid-American
Conference. Mr. Blair has been instrumental in creating an atmosphere of winning and pride through
his dedication to the school and to our community.

While Bryan’s journey to UT is one riddled with many well-planned and successful opportunities
required to develop the skill set to lead at this level of collegiate sports, he credits his wife for his
journey to Ohio. Jenna is the love of his life and is a native of Dayton, Ohio. When this position became
available, they saw it as an opportunity to be close to family and to connect their children Bri and Beau
to cousins with whom they can begin to build lifelong relationships. If you ask, he will let you know that
his family means everything to him and that he feels truly blessed for being part of their lives.
While Bryan is the first African American to hold this position at UT, it doesn’t negate the fact that he is
simply the most qualified for the job. Bryan was born and raised in South Carolina in a small town of dirt
roads and only 5,000 people where his beliefs in commitment and teamwork was instilled in him. He
played four different sports in high school and grew to love each equally. Teamwork was a way of life as
he and his classmates leaned on each other to accomplish their goals both on and off the field. After
high school he went on to graduate from Wofford College with a degree in History and entered law
school at the University of South Carolina. It was upon obtaining his law degree that he figured out how
to combine his law degree with his love of sports and set out to work for the NCAA in Indianapolis,

From Indianapolis, he began his journey toward developing a successful track record by taking on new
and bigger opportunities in the collegiate space. He went on to Rice University in Houston, TX for a stint
as Compliance Coordinator and then went to his alma mater of The University of South Carolina as
Assistant Director of Compliance Services. When he went back to Rice University, it was to lead as the
Senior Associate Athletic Director responsible for many areas such as overseeing sports medicine, sports
nutrition and 16 Division I sports programs. His last role prior to Toledo was with Washington State
University in the PAC 12 Conference. At WSU, he was responsible for their Nike contract, was the Chief
Diversity Officer in athletics, and oversaw the development and execution of their athletic strategic plan.
Having worked in the SEC and the PAC 12 he felt that he would be well prepared for this role at UT.
He knew early in life that he wanted to have a career in sports and made sure to build the roadmap. He
comes to Toledo with a lot of knowledge of how to run a successful program. In just one year, he is
credited for achieving an average of 3.4 GPA, the highest amongst student athletes in the MAC
conference; most championships in one year including Football, Men’s and Women’s Basketball,
Women’s Cross Country and Men’s and Women’s Tennis; and best home attendance numbers. Those
are stats we can all celebrate! Bryan was able to recruit Al Tomlinson from the University of Texas and a
graduate from BGSU as his Deputy Athletic Director for Development and Nicole Alderson, Executive
Associate Athletic Director and Chief Operations Officer recruited from Grand Canyon University and a

native of Toronto, Canada. Tony Bell is also instrumental on his executive team and leads student
athlete development, academic services, and community engagement.
Bryan encourages his staff, coaches, and athletes to go out into the community to show appreciation for
a town that truly supports their programs. His student athletes mentor others in many ways especially
on the topic of academics. Bryan believes that teaching young people to have a focus on academics is
important so that they develop the right skill sets to make it in life long after athletics is over. In ten
years when their athletic careers end, and they need a job, what will they do then? He wants them to
be prepared for their next stage in life whether they are blessed to go on to be a professional athlete or
directly after their college career ends.

Bryan also places emphasis on his athletes needing to be mentored. Along with the massive support UT
receives from the community, there are business leaders that are willing to provide guidance in ways
that will open opportunities for students to consider different career paths. He wants his athletes to
network in Toledo to get the most out of their experience and position at UT because he is a firm
believer that life presents many opportunities for growth, and he wants to help bridge the gaps.
Bryan strongly believes that his most important role is to make others and the university better, and in
every engagement, he makes that his goal. He has incorporated this belief in the development and
execution of his strategic plan for the university which encompasses many areas including the
improvement of the fan experience. Mr. Blair has signed a five-year contract with UT and looks forward
to enjoying the life he and his wife are building in our region. He would like us to know that he
appreciates how welcoming everyone has been and that Toledo has shown him and his family plenty of
love. We hope you have an opportunity to say hello to Mr. Blair and he wishes to see you at the next
game. Go Rockets!

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