Laird Veatch was been named Director of Athletics at the University of Memphis, by UofM President M. David Rudd August 9. Veatch started at the UofM on October 1.
Veatch, who is a 25-year veteran in intercollegiate athletics, has been the executive associate athletics director for internal affairs at the University of Florida since July 2017. He has led the administrative oversight of capital improvement projects, event operations, facilities and strength & conditioning. He also serves as the sports administrator for football and is the primary liaison with Gator Boosters, the fundraising arm for Florida Athletics.
“Laird’s a perfect fit for the University and our City,” said Rudd. “As a former student-athlete, he brings a unique perspective and a wealth of experience at some of the nation’s leading athletic departments, along with a strong vision for the future, a keen understanding of a rapidly changing landscape, unparalleled integrity and energy, and a commitment to competing at the highest level.”
Prior to Florida, Veatch spent the seven years prior (2010-17) at his alma mater, Kansas State University, where served in a variety of roles, including both deputy athletics director and interim director of athletics.
“Through conversations with President Rudd and trusted colleagues from around the nation about this special opportunity, it quickly became apparent that there is a tremendous amount of momentum in Memphis,” said Veatch. “Together with our highly-respected University leadership, incredible coaches, staff and student-athletes, along with passion of the Memphis family, we have an opportunity to build an unprecedented era in Tiger Athletics.
“I am so excited to come alongside the team in place to serve our student-athletes, University, fans and community! My family and I are truly grateful. We can’t wait to develop new friendships and earn the right to be called Memphians.”
Veatch provided oversight to the K-State athletic department’s senior staff on strategic direction, fundraising, fan experience, ticket sales and multimedia rights. He was the lead manager of new capital projects, including fundraising, design vision and oversight of construction for more than $210 million in new facility projects, highlighted by an $85 million west-side football stadium expansion and a $65 million football-training complex. The Vanier Family Football Complex was completed in just seven months between football seasons.
Before returning to K-State, Veatch spent seven years with Learfield Sports (2003-10), including the last four as regional vice president (2006-10). As regional vice president of Learfield Sports’ Heartland Division, he was responsible for the leadership and oversight of eight Div. I multimedia rights departments, including four new start-up properties.
Learfield Sports first hired Veatch in 2003 as the general manager for Mizzou Sports Properties before his promotion to regional vice president in 2006. In that role, he coordinated all multimedia activities within the Missouri Athletics Department’s external operations team and directed all Mizzou Sports Properties staff, activities and performance.
Prior to Learfield, Veatch spent a short time in athletic administration at Iowa State (2002-03) as senior associate athletics director for external operations, serving as the senior advisor to the athletics director and directing all external operations units, including marketing, development, media relations and event management.
He spent his formative years at Missouri (1997-2002), the last three as assistant athletics director for development, where he oversaw fundraising activities for the athletics department with special emphasis on facility and capital fundraising projects. A major contributor to Mizzou’s record growth in total giving, Veatch managed the Tiger Scholarship fund annual giving program and directed Mizzou’s $102 million comprehensive Capital Campaign.
Veatch began his professional career in 1995 at the University of Texas, assisting with the development program as well as the external affairs area as a graduate assistant while earning his master’s degree in sports administration in 1997.
Veatch received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kansas State in 1995 where he was a four-year letterman at linebacker for College Football Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder from 1990-94 and served as team captain as a senior. He was a starter on K-State’s Copper and Aloha Bowl teams in 1993 and 1994 and earned honorable mention All-Big Eight Conference honors in 1994.
He was also a two-time CFA Academic All-American, was Academic All-Big Eight four times and was a Hitachi/CFA Scholar-Athlete in 1994.
Veatch and his wife, Brandy, have three daughters, Jordyn, Taylor and Sydney, and one son, Dru.