OXFORD, Ohio - David Sayler, leader of the University of South Dakota intercollegiate athletic program for the past two-and-a-half years, has been named Miami University's 16th Director of Athletics, President David Hodge announced today (Dec. 13).

The 43-year-old Sayler will begin his new duties in early January 2013.

Gleaning experience from eight different collegiate athletic programs, the multi-talented Sayler was Dr. Hodge's top candidate to follow Brad Bates.

"It was quickly apparent that David's values align strongly with Miami - putting the student-athlete first, insisting on the highest levels of integrity, and being fiercely competitive," said Hodge. "He has deep experience at a variety of universities and has been a sitting AD. I look forward to his leadership advancing our intercollegiate athletics."

Sayler indicated that his respect for Miami University's history and tradition and the challenges that lie ahead have him excited to begin his new duties in Oxford.

"I am both thrilled and honored to be the next Athletic Director at Miami University," said Sayler. "I have always admired all that Miami stands for and to have the chance to lead the department into the future is very exciting. RedHawk fans should take pride in the commitment to excellence that President Hodge and the Board of Trustees have made in regards to Miami athletics. Revenue generation will be the key to our future and I am anxious to begin working with our tremendous alumni base to make that future as bright as it can be."

As South Dakota's Athletic Director, Sayler emphasized the improvement of the student-athlete's overall experience and instilling a renewed sense of pride in Coyote athletics. Among his accomplishments were securing USD's 2012 membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and leading the way for USD's aggressive Master Facilities Plan, which includes new facilities for basketball, outdoor track and field, and soccer. Sayler played a major role in securing a $20 million private gift, the largest single contribution in South Dakota athletics history. He also raised funds for a new basketball floor, which was introduced in 2011-12, and football turf, which made its debut in the fall of 2012.

Coyote student-athletes thrived in the classroom during Sayler's time at South Dakota, posting a grade-point average of over 3.1. USD won the Summit League's Institutional Academic Achievement Award in 2011-12, which goes to the school that has the highest percentage of list-eligible athletes on the Summit League Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence.

Sayler oversaw the hiring of two head coaches during his tenure at South Dakota and was instrumental in the athletic department signing an apparel and shoe contract with adidas in February 2012.

Prior to joining USD, Sayler served as Senior Executive Athletic Director at Rice University for four years, while also heading the department as Interim Athletic Director from October 2009 to March 2010. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the entire athletic department, directly overseeing all internal operations, as well as providing administrative oversight for all 16 of Rice’s varsity sports. He also assisted with the development of a strategic plan for Rice Athletics and served as the administrator of that plan for the department. Sayler also was a key figure in several facility projects across campus. He directed the funding model, planning and building of a $26 million renovation of Autry Court, as well as the $41 million construction of a recreation center. Under his watch, Rice Athletics had a balanced budget for fiscal years 2007 and 2008, the first times that ever occurred under the Board of Trustees-approved budget funding model for athletics.

Sayler also has served two years in senior athletic administration at Oregon State University and four years at Bowling Green State University. In addition, he has been an integral part of the athletic staffs at the University of Houston, the University of Hartford, the University of Georgia and the University of Connecticut.

After graduation from Ohio Wesleyan University (1991) with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, Sayler worked three years in the private sector, spending time with Ernst & Young in Cleveland and Peterson Consulting in Chicago.

Sayler, born Sept. 6, 1969 in Greenwich, Conn., is married to the former Katie Fitzgerald of Bowling Green, Ohio. The couple has two sons, Connor Jameson (who turns 6 in January) and Liam Patrick (3).


David Sayler’s Education and Professional Experience:

Ohio Wesleyan University, B.A. in Accounting (1991)

University of Connecticut, M.A. in Sports Management (1996)

University of South Dakota, Athletic Director (2010-12)

Rice University, Senior Executive Athletic Director (2006-10)

Oregon State University, Associate Athletic Director for Business Operations (2005-06)

Bowling Green State University, Associate Athletic Director for Finance/External Operations (2001-05)

University of Houston, Assistant Athletic Director of Business Operations (1999-2001)

University of Hartford, Assistant Athletic Director of Business Operations (1998-99)

University of Georgia, Assistant Director of Marketing/Promotions (1996-98)

University of Connecticut, Marketing Assistant (1994-96)

Peterson Consulting, Litigation Consultant (1992-94)


What they’re saying about David Sayler 

“David Sayler is a great fit for Miami University. He has the same values that define Miami and the vision shared by President Hodge to lead the RedHawks during this challenging time. He will engage and inspire the alumni, faculty and staff and, most importantly, the student-athletes with his energy and passion. Miami’s athletic future is in good hands.”

—Joel Maturi – retired Athletic Director, University of Minnesota and Miami University

“While Athletic Director at USD, David skillfully guided us through the final stages of our transition to Division I, acceptance into the Missouri Valley Football Conference and took the lead on planning and designing a $58,000,000 basketball/volleyball arena and outdoor track/soccer project. Although his time at USD was relatively short, his impact on USD will long be felt. We will miss him, but understand this is a wonderful opportunity for him and his family and wish him nothing but the best.”

—James W. Abbott – President, University of South Dakota

“Miami University has made an inspired hire in its choice of David Sayler to be the RedHawks’ next athletic director.  David will bring his positive energy, drive and expertise to Oxford and all alums will quickly notice his focus on revenue generation and creating a positive vision for RedHawk athletics.”

—Jim Phillips – Athletic Director, Northwestern University 

“David’s true core value is students first. Everything he believes in is giving student-athletes the very best opportunity to receive a college education through their efforts in sport. He is a dynamic fit for Miami because the university values competition at the highest level but also values the importance of being a student. Miami hired a man who is a prince of a fellow. Today, Miami got better by hiring David Sayler.”

—Chris Del Conte - Athletic Director, Texas Christian University

“I have had the pleasure of working with David and believe he is an outstanding collegiate athletics administrator. He is passionate, thoughtful, dedicated and has worked very hard for this opportunity. I am sure he will do an outstanding job for Miami University.” 

—Paul Krebs - University of New Mexico Vice President for Athletics