The University of Miami recently announced that Blake James has been hired as director of athletics. James has been serving as the interim director of athletics since October 2012 and is in his third year with the university.
“Blake James has proven that he has the experience, skills, leadership and especially the love for the university that we need in athletics,” said UM president Donna E. Shalala.
Comprising 17 different sports, the UM Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is dedicated to developing and supporting the university’s 400-plus studentathletes in their efforts to achieve personal, academic and athletic excellence. UM student athletes have won 21 team national championships, 71 individual national championships, and earned 400-plus All-America honors.
James came to UM as senior associate AD after spending seven years at the University of Maine, where he served as senior associate athletic director before serving as director of athletics from July 2005 to September 2010. In that role, his primary responsibilities focused on marketing, ticketing, retail operations and athletics development, along with men and women’s track and field, cross country, men’s soccer, men’s basketball and baseball.
“I’m honored to be named the director of athletics here at the University of Miami,” James said. “I want to thank President Shalala and the board of trustees for the opportunity as we continue to move forward through these difficult times. We have assembled a great athletics staff with tremendous head coaches and I am grateful to be a Miami Hurricane.”
During his tenure at Maine, athletics experienced tremendous success, including three trips to the “Frozen Four” for the men’s ice hockey program and NCAA playoff berths for football, baseball (two), women’s basketball and softball. Additionally, James implemented a comprehensive $17 million facility improvement plan, which included an indoor practice facility and numerous other facility upgrades and renovations. Academically, the program flourished, earning the conference academic cup twice and maintaining better than a 3.0 GPA.
Prior to his stint at Maine, he worked in athletics development at Providence College, where he established the “Friars Forever” campaign and the Friar Athletic Fund.
No stranger to South Florida, James began his athletic career with UM, working in ticket sales, corporate sales and athletics development while a graduate student at St. Thomas University.
He graduated from Minnesota State University-Mankato with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1992 and received his master’s degree from St. Thomas University in 1994. He and his wife, Kelly, have two children — Haley and Ryan.