Bryan Blair assumed his post as Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and Director of Athletics at The University of Toledo on May 1, 2022.
Blair is the 14th athletic director in the history of the University of Toledo and the first African-American to hold the post. He comes to UToledo after serving as the deputy athletic director and chief operating officer at Washington State University since 2018.
At Washington State, Blair led a team of sport administrators responsible for day-to-day oversight of 17 varsity sports programs and oversaw several departmental units focused on student-athlete success. Among his responsibilities was managing the university’s Nike contract, serving as the chief diversity officer in athletics, and overseeing the development and execution of WSU’s athletic strategic plan. During Blair’s tenure, the Cougars excelled on and off the court, competing for NCAA championships, setting cumulative GPA records, doubling yearly fundraising to more than $30 million, and securing 50 of the top 70 largest gifts in WSU athletic history.
Prior to his term at WSU, Blair was the senior associate athletic director at Rice University from 2014-18, which was his second stint at that school. He also served at Rice for the first time as a compliance coordinator from 2011-12. While serving as senior associate AD at Rice, he served as a member of the athletics department’s senior leadership team, while overseeing sports medicine, strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, compliance, and seven of the department’s 16 NCAA Division I sports programs. In addition, Blair served as the advisor for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and helped secure a multimillion-dollar partnership, one of the largest in Rice Athletics history.
In between his stints at Rice, Blair worked at the University of South Carolina as the assistant director of compliance services from 2012-14. He also worked at the NCAA Offices in Indianapolis as an academic and membership affairs postgraduate intern from 2010-11.
A rising star in intercollegiate athletics, Blair was selected to serve on the National Sports Forum’s Steering Committee and the Board of Directors for the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association. In 2016, Blair was chosen for the nationally acclaimed D1A Institute (now “LEAD1”). The goal of the institute is to help the participants, nominated by their universities’ athletics directors, be better prepared to move into the role of athletics director. After the Institute, Blair was recognized by LEAD1 President and CEO, Tom McMillen, as a “Future Leader of College Sports.” Blair was selected among 25 senior-level administrators from across the country to participate in the prestigious 2017 NCAA Pathway Program. The program is designed to elevate those currently in senior-level positions within athletics administration to the next step in reaching their goal of becoming directors of athletics. The year-long program is an intensive, experiential learning opportunity for selected participants representing NCAA Divisions I, II and III.
Blair holds a law degree from the University of South Carolina and earned his undergraduate degree in history at Wofford College. He played four seasons as a nose tackle for the Wofford football team from 2003-06. He was a team captain as a senior in 2006 and was named the team’s Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Blair and his wife, Jenna, have two children, Brielle and Beau.