LEAD1 Association President and CEO Tom McMillen stepping down on September 30, 2024, to pursue other opportunities

WASHINGTON D.C., May 16, 2024 – LEAD1 Association President and CEO Tom McMillen today announced that, after eight plus years leading the association, which represents the athletics directors of the 133-member schools of the Football Bowl Subdivision (“FBS”), he will be stepping down on September 30th, 2024, to pursue other opportunities. McMillen will stay as President and CEO through June 30, 2024, and then transition to part-time from July 1, 2024, through September 30, 2024. The Association plans to evaluate the organization’s needs moving forward, and after that review process, will conduct a national search for the next leader of LEAD1.

McMillen stated, “I am immensely grateful for this opportunity to be deeply connected to one of my passions – college athletics. I want to thank all our athletic directors who have supported the LEAD1 mission during my tenure as President and CEO.  I would like to particularly thank Jack Swarbrick, who was instrumental in bringing me into the organization and reshaping our mission into an issues-oriented organization for FBS athletic directors and their departments. I’d also like to thank all our Board chairs during my tenure with LEAD1, including Rick George, Dan Radakovich, Heather Lyke, and Warde Manuel.”

“On behalf of the LEAD1 Executive Committee and our membership, I would like to thank Tom for his more than eight years of steadfast leadership and unwavering commitment to our organization,” said Warde Manuel, Board Chair of LEAD1 and Director of Athletics at the University of Michigan.  “His visionary guidance has elevated our organization and profoundly impacted the landscape of college athletics. Tom’s legacy will be remembered as a testament to the power of passionate service and transformative leadership.”

McMillen will continue to fulfill the duties of the President and CEO in the coming months while actively supporting the transition for the next leader of the association. Leading LEAD1 since the end of 2015, McMillen, a former Congressman, college basketball All-American, Rhodes Scholar, and 11-year NBA player, has played a pivotal role in advancing the association’s objectives. LEAD1’s overarching mission is to bring together FBS athletic directors to develop consensus and to advocate and drive results on key issues that focus on the success of student-athletes and the advancement of college athletics.

About the LEAD1 Association:

LEAD1, founded in 1986 and formerly the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association, represents the athletics directors of the 133 member universities of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), that encompasses 42 states, 55,000 student athletes, and more than 25,000 athletic administrators.  For more information, please visit www.LEAD1Association.com.


LEAD1: Bart Lambergman, General Counsel & Chief Operating Officer