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Rice names Tommy McClelland as director of athletics

McClelland previously served as Vanderbilt’s deputy AD and Louisiana Tech’s AD.

Syndication: Shreveport Jimmy Watson/The Times

Rice officially announced the hiring of Tommy McClelland as the program’s director of athletics Sunday morning.

McClelland previously served as the deputy athletic director at Vanderbilt. Prior to working in Nashville, he operated as Louisiana Tech’s athletic director from 2013-20.

McClelland replaces Joe Karlgaard, who officially steps down from Rice’s athletic director role on Aug. 1 after holding the position since 2013. Karlgaard will become the CEO of GSV Summit LLC.

“We’re thrilled to be able to attract someone with Tommy’s breadth of experience and success,” Rice University President Reginald DesRoches said in a statement. “He brings the values of academic excellence and deep integrity that define Rice, coupled with a passionate desire to compete successfully at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics. These attributes will be critical for Rice’s first season in the American Athletic Conference and the years to follow.”

Under McClelland’s new leadership, Rice will commence life in the American Athletic Conference after officially transitioning from Conference USA on July 1.

“Rice is a world class university with a storied athletics tradition,” McClelland said in a statement. “The institution’s move to the American Athletic Conference signifies its ongoing commitment to elevating the Rice athletics programs and competing at the highest level. I look forward to locking arms with our student-athletes, coaches, staff, campus community and the Greater Houston community as we work together to unlock the full potential of Rice Athletics.”

McClelland begins his new role at Rice on Aug. 14. Until then, Tanner Gardner, senior associate director and chief operating officer of Rice Athletics, will operate in an interim role.