February 1, 2022 – CarrSports Consulting has placed Drew Ingraham as the new senior associate athletics director for external affairs at Furman University in Greenville, SC. Mr. Ingraham previously served as associate athletics director for marketing, communications, and creative services at Texas Tech University. “Drew brings a wealth of knowledge, experience with several collegiate athletics programs, and a vital skill-set that will support the continued growth of our department,” said director of athletics Jason Donnelly. “We are excited to hire a candidate of Drew’s caliber and appreciate the commitment of the university to continue to grow the Furman Athletics brand by investing in revenue generation, increased fan engagement and a first class student-athlete experience.”
“I am truly grateful and honored for the opportunity to join Furman,” said Mr. Ingraham. “I would like to thank Jason and the staff at Furman for the opportunity to lead such a talented external team. I look forward to contributing to the enhanced growth of the Furman athletics brand locally, regionally and nationally.” A key member of the director of athletics’ executive leadership team, the senior associate athletics director for external affairs is charged with assisting the department in providing strong vision, leadership, management, coordination, and oversight of athletics external operations, said Furman. These responsibilities include oversight of athletics revenue generation, marketing, communications, promotions, game day experience, athletics ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, licensing and branding with a focus on Greenville, Upstate South Carolina, and national growth and recognition.
Building on Success
A large of part of Mr. Ingraham’s role will be to build upon the success of Furman athletics during the past few years. “Athletics has demonstrated remarkable growth in external affairs with its ‘Furman Family’ culture, connection to the community, and emphasis on engagement with students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans,” said the university.
At Texas Tech, Mr. Ingraham oversaw three operations within the athletics department — communications, promotions and fan engagement, and recently created creative services — with a combined staff of 16 full-time employees. He coordinated the planning and execution of football and men’s basketball game day, as well as year-round promotional efforts for all 17 programs.
Among his achievements, Mr. Ingraham directed marketing efforts in football that generated $16.7 million in revenue for the 2018 and 2019 seasons and constructed and implemented marketing/ticket sales plans that added 8,837 new season ticket accounts over those two campaigns. For basketball, Mr. Ingraham led marketing and outreach that netted a 12 percent increase in student attendance and 16 percent increase in overall attendance for Red Raider basketball during the 2018-19 season, and a 2019-20 basketball campaign that averaged 14,057 fans. For the 2021-22 season, Texas Tech netted a program record 8,150 season ticket holders.
Prior to Texas Tech, Mr. Ingraham served as associate athletics director of marketing and fan engagement at the University of New Mexico; associate athletics director for marketing and operations at Montana State University; and external athletics marketing manager at Colorado College.
Founded in 1826, Furman University is the oldest private university in South Carolina and among the 75 oldest institutions of higher education in operation nationally today. The university ranks as one of the nation’s top-ranked liberal arts colleges, offering its students numerous opportunities for undergraduate research, internships, leadership development and global experiences. Furman has more than 70 majors, minors and programs. With a student body of over 2,500 undergraduate students, the university maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1.
Serving Intercollegiate Athletics
Based in Odenton, MD, CarrSports Consulting has been providing executive search services exclusively to intercollegiate athletics since 1997. Staffed with former athletics leaders, its associates have a combined 200 years of experience in positions such as Division I athletic directors, commissioners and head coaches, and have conducted more than 130 searches and 70 consulting projects.
The firm has extensive experience in conducting national searches for athletics directors over the past two decades and is backed by over 135 years of intercollegiate AD experience on staff. CarrSports Consulting has completed searches for athletics directors at Duke, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Butler and other prominent Division I institutions. Its client list includes other Atlantic 10 schools as well. The firm is led by managing partners Mike Thomas and Jeff Hathaway.
Mr. Thomas has 36 years of experience in major university athletic department direction, during which time he hired coaches who have led teams to conference championships and national prominence, achieved historic levels of fundraising, managed capital projects totaling over $400 million, raised student-athlete academic achievements to conference-leading levels, instituted cultures of strict NCAA compliance, negotiated multi-million dollar media, sponsorship and marketing contracts, and revamped staffing and financial systems.
Mr. Hathaway has a demonstrated history of accomplishments in enhancing academic and athletic success of student-athletes, fundraising, student-athlete well-being, marketing, communications, university and community relations, strategic planning and fiscal management while serving and leading a diverse population of outstanding student-athletes, coaches and staff.
Most recently, Mr. Hathaway has been working as a consultant for higher education and intercollegiate athletics clients, including a number of outstanding institutions and conferences. He has also taught sports management classes at the graduate level.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media