Memphis hires Veatch as athletic director

Field Level Media

August 09, 2019 at 6:46 pm.

Memphis announced on Friday that Laird Veatch has been hired as the university’s new athletic director.

The executive associate athletics director for internal affairs the past two years, Veatch has previously held positions at Texas (1995-97), Missouri (1997-2002), Iowa State (2002-03) and Kansas State (2010-17) during a 25-year career in college athletics. He also was employed at Learfield Sports from 2003-10, including the last five years as regional vice president involved in the leadership and oversight of eight Division I multimedia rights departments.

He succeeds Tom Bowen, who stepped down in May after serving as the Memphis AD for seven years.

“Laird’s a perfect fit for the University and our City,” Memphis president M. David Rudd said in a release. “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.”

A linebacker from 1990-94 at Kansas State, Veatch was a starter during his final two seasons and was named team captain and earned honorable mention all-Big 8 conference honors as a senior.

“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,” Veatch said in the school’s release. “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.”

His formal announcement will be made at a later date.

During Bowen’s tenure, he helped to improve the Memphis football program, and hired head coach Mike Norvell, who has compiled a 26-14 record in three seasons with the Tigers. Memphis went 8-6 last season and lost to Wake Forest in the Birmingham Bowl, its fifth straight postseason appearance.