STATESBORO, Ga. (School Release) - Tom Kleinlein, deputy athletic director at Kent State University, was introduced this evening as Georgia Southern University's new athletic director, concluding a national search.
During remarks at a standing-room only press conference to announce Kleinlein's appointment, Georgia Southern President Brooks Keel, Ph.D. described the University's new athletic director as someone who not only understands the competitive and business aspects of managing a growing athletics department, but also the focus on academics. "Tom Kleinlein brings a great deal of experience and enthusiasm to Georgia Southern University. Our goal is to make sure that our student athletes not only win on the field, but in the classroom. We're excited to welcome Tom and his family to the Eagle Nation and I am confident he will lead our athletic teams and department to the next level, both on and off the field."
"I am very excited to join the Eagle Nation and am honored to serve as Georgia Southern University's athletic director," said Kleinlein. "This job can be summed up in one word: opportunity. The tradition and success that Georgia Southern has become so well known for will serve as the foundation as we build for the future. I am looking forward to working with President Keel, the University's leadership, our coaches, staff and student athletes and I am looking forward to meeting all of our fans, alumni, sponsors and donors."
Kleinlein joined Kent State in 2010 and was responsible for the management of the athletic department's revenue generation component and coordinated the department's efforts with Institutional Advancement, Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. He also served as the direct sport supervisor for football along with men's and women's basketball while directing many of the day-to-day operations of the department. He led the University's relationship with IMG College, the marketing department, ticket office, facilities, strength and conditioning and game day management operations.
Prior to joining Kent State, he served as associate athlete director for football under head coach Dennis Erickson at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. from 2005-2010. Earlier in his career, he served as assistant athletic director for football operations at Rutgers University. Prior to that, he worked at his alma mater, Wake Forest University, as an academic counselor and then assistant director of football operations.
A four-year letter winner as an offensive lineman at Wake Forest, he earned a bachelor's degree in history. He later earned a master's in education curriculum and instruction from Arizona State. He and his wife, Tara, have two sons - Austin and Mason.
In addition to announcing the new hire, Keel recognized the efforts of the search committee which consisted of representatives from the University's faculty, staff and students, alumni and members of the community. "There was a tremendous amount of interest in this position and I would personally like to thank the search committee for their hard work. They had a very tall order and I could not be more pleased with the result of their effort."