Vanderbilt’s Tommy McClelland to take over as AD at Rice

Field Level Media

July 30, 2023 at 7:08 pm.

Tommy McClelland, the deputy athletic director at Vanderbilt, has been named athletic director at Rice, effective Aug. 14.

He is a longtime administrator, hired as athletic director at McNeese State in 2008. Then just 26, he was the youngest person to hold the position in NCAA Division I sports at the time.

After five years at McNeese State, he was named athletic director at Louisiana Tech and held the position until joining the Vanderbilt staff in 2020.

“We’re thrilled to be able to attract someone with Tommy’s breadth of experience and success,” Rice president Reginald DesRoches said. “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.”

McClelland is taking over at the Houston school for Joe Karlgaard, who resigned as athletic director this month to take a job in the private sector.

Rice is moving from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference in the upcoming academic year. The Owls are one of six programs joining the AAC, along with Charlotte, FAU, North Texas, UAB and UTSA.