William & Mary announced Tuesdasy that Samantha K. Huge has been appointed as the new director of athletics effective May 1.
Huge, currently the senior associate director of athletics at Texas A&M University, has 17 years of Division I athletics administration experience. She will become the first woman to hold the position at William & Mary since the job was combined in the 1980s to cover both men's and women's sports. Huge will succeed Director of Athletics Terry Driscoll, who is retiring this year after 21 years.
"William & Mary has a powerful tradition of athletic success and of doing varsity athletics right," said President Taylor Reveley. "Tribe Athletics requires a leader of great integrity and commitment to having athletes who thrive in classrooms and labs as well as on their teams. Samantha has the values, experience and determination to take W&M athletics to even greater heights, as we seek to provide a championship experience for every Tribe athlete and fan. We are delighted to welcome her to our community even as we are sad to see her splendid predecessor, Terry Driscoll, ride into the sunset."
At William & Mary, Huge will be a member of the president's senior leadership cabinet and will be responsible for more than 120 Tribe Athletics staff members and coaches. As the director of athletics, Huge will manage the organization's $24 million budget, serve as its primary fundraiser and oversee the continued implementation of the department's strategic plan, announced in April 2015, which includes providing "a championship experience for every student-athlete and every fan."
"I am truly honored and humbled to join the William & Mary family and I want to thank President Reveley and the Board of Visitors for their confidence in me," said Huge. "With world-class academics and a competitive athletic foundation in place, we will work to build on past success and raise the bar higher. I look forward to meeting our student-athletes, coaches, faculty, alumni and fans and I can't wait to get started to play my part at an amazing institution."
Earlier this year, Reveley appointed a 15-person search committee to find Driscoll's successor. The committee began meeting in late November and was chaired by Lawrence B. Pulley '74, dean of William & Mary's Raymond A. Mason School of Business.
"Throughout our exhaustive national search, Samantha stood out as simultaneously ready to embrace William & Mary's athletic tradition and capable of successfully leading us into a new era," said Pulley. "She's been part of championship programs at a number of institutions and has been mentored by some incredible people. Her passion for student-athletes is remarkable, as is her vision to strengthen lifelong ties among William & Mary's alumni and friends. The university's expectations of Tribe Athletics are high, and the committee has full confidence that Samantha will be a driving force in achieving them."
Huge has served on the senior management team at Texas A&M since 2014, overseeing many aspects of the athletic department including academics, sports medicine, performance nutrition, student-athlete engagement and sports performance. In addition to supervising key operational areas including technology, Huge manages the department's partnership with Adidas and serves as the primary liaison to the major gifts staff of the university's fundraising arm, the 12th Man Foundation. She also serves as the primary administrator for six sports programs, three of which won one or more SEC Championships during her tenure in College Station.
Huge led the department's equity and inclusion policy development and implementation initiatives, served as a member of the Texas A&M Diversity Leadership Group and chaired the athletic department's Committee on Equity and Inclusion and its Policy Committee. In 2016, she received the university's Award for Women's Progress for her demonstrated advocacy for, and empowerment of, women in the department and on campus.
"While Samantha will be greatly missed by our department and university," said Scott Woodward, director of athletics at Texas A&M University. "I am thrilled for her and for William & Mary, which is getting one of the top intercollegiate administrators in the country. Samantha brings a wealth of experiences to Williamsburg and understands the ever-changing dynamic of the student-athlete experience and the landscape of college sports. She will not only succeed, she will thrive, and we wish her all of the best."
Prior to joining Texas A&M, Huge served as deputy director of athletics and recreation services at the University of Delaware and as special assistant to the President from 2009 to 2014. As deputy director, Huge was responsible for the day to day operations of the athletics department, during a time of record-setting competitive success, enhancement of facilities and increased attendance and revenue generation at Delaware.
"I am proud to be able to welcome Samantha to the CAA family," said CAA Commissioner Joe D'Antonio. "Over the years our paths have crossed many times and I am proud to be able to call Samantha a friend as well as a colleague. She is an experienced administrator and leader within our industry, and I look forward to working with her as she sets the course for the future of the William & Mary athletics department."
Huge has worked in various roles with the athletic departments at Georgetown University, Wake Forest University, Michigan State University and the University of Illinois, as well as with the Office of the Southern Conference.
Over her career, Huge has served on multiple conference and national committees, including the Southeastern Conference Commissioner's Working Group on Championships and the SEC Commissioner's Working Group on Compliance, Enforcement and Governance; the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Issues Committee and the NCAA Division I Committee on Academic Performance. She is active in Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA), graduating from its executive institute and presenting at its national convention.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gordon College, where she was a member of the varsity women's basketball team, and received a law degree from Campbell University.
At William & Mary, Huge will inherit an athletics program that has established standards of excellence on the field of play and in the classroom.
The university's 23 varsity sports have won 132 Colonial Athletic Association championships, more than any other member of the conference. In addition, W&M students have won 68 CAA scholar-athlete awards since its inception in 2002-03 and the university has won the overall award eight times, more than any two other schools combined, including taking home the overall men's and women's scholar-athlete awards in 2014-15. In 2016, eight teams ranked in the Top 10 percent of their respective sports for Academic Progress Rates among all Division I programs and received a Public Recognition Award from the NCAA.
In addition to her professional interest in Tribe Athletics, Huge has a personal connection to the program, as well. Her brother Chris Huge '84, a W&M alumnus, played Tribe football from 1981 to 1983.
"Samantha's brother, Chris, was among my first recruiting classes, so she's got longstanding ties to the William & Mary family," said Tribe Football Coach Jimmye Laycock. "She's familiar with academically rigorous environments, having been at Georgetown and Wake Forest, plus she's been at a CAA peer and now Texas A&M. She's an impressive person, very candid and thoughtful, and someone who loves to win while doing things the right way. I am looking forward to working with her and expect that she will do very well."