David Benedict became the Director of Athletics at the University of Connecticut in March of 2016.
Benedict helped orchestrate one of the most important decisions in UConn athletic history over the past year, finalizing UConn’s move to the BIG EAST Conference, which has been nationally heralded as a change that will provide a dramatic boost to UConn athletics. The complicated details of the move included Benedict’s bold decision to have the UConn football team play as an FBS independent.
Under Benedict, UConn has extended its exclusive sponsorship agreement with Nike through the 2022-23 academic year. The total value of the contract to the University from 2017-23 in combined product and cash is $32.45 million. Benedict also helped UConn navigate a 15-year $93 million extension for IMG (now Learfield-IMG College) to continue as its multimedia partner through 2033.
Prior to UConn, Benedict served as the Chief Operating Officer for the athletics department at Auburn University for two years. Benedict is a highly-experienced athletic administrator who served as the Deputy Athletic Director at Minnesota (2012-14) and in leadership positions at Virginia Commonwealth (2010-12), Long Beach State (2007-10) and Arizona State (1996-2006).
At Minnesota, Benedict held a similar position as he identified areas to increase external support and provided stewardship for sponsors and major donors. He worked with the University of Minnesota Foundation to create the largest athletics campaign in school history.
Benedict was the Executive Associate Athletic Director at VCU during his time there and also served as Interim Athletic Director for several months. At VCU, he increased annual giving, tickets sales and sponsorship revenues each year. While serving as Interim AD, Benedict led the school’s transition from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Atlantic 10.
A native of Tempe, Ariz., Benedict is a 1995 graduate of Southern Utah, where he was a linebacker on the football team. He earned a master’s degree from New Mexico Highlands in 1996, where he served as a graduate assistant football coach.
Benedict and his wife, the former Lisa Zeis, have twin boys — Jake and Sam. Lisa was a four-time gymnastics All-American and two-time NCAA champion at Arizona State.