Nathan Bond of The Daily Stampede has learned that College Football Playoff’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Kelly has been tabbed to become the next athletic director at the University of South Florida, according to sources with direct knowledge of the hiring.
“I am truly honored to return to the University of South Florida and Tampa Bay. This is a dream opportunity for me, and I couldn’t be more grateful to President Genshaft and the USF Board of Trustees,” Kelly said in the school’s release. “It’s a very exciting time with the university and the entire region on such strong upward trajectories. I can’t wait to get started with our student-athletes, coaches, staff, Bulls fans, donors and alumni everywhere.”
Kelly has been the COO of the CFP since November 2012 and he brings a wealth of knowledge to the position, he knows the Tampa Bay market and its quirks, as well as having connections with other conferences and movers and shakers as a top-ranking official in the CFP.
He was charged with all game-related activities and was the point person for choosing the National Title game host site.
Prior to becoming COO, Kelly was the senior associate commissioner for the Atlantic Coast Conference from 2007-2013.
He was also the president of the Tampa Bay Super Bowl XXXV host committee from July 1999-June 2001 as well as the president of the host committees for the Jacksonville Super Bowl XXXIX from July 2002-June 2005. He also held the same position for the South Florida Super Bowl XLI from June 2005- May 2007.
Kelly worked at USF as the Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs from May 2001- June 2002.
“Michael Kelly is a proven leader with a wealth of experience across the national collegiate athletic landscape, as well as within Tampa Bay,” said USF President Judy Genshaft . “He has a track record of promoting competitive excellence, building strong community relationships, developing marketing campaigns, reaching fundraising goals and supporting academic achievement. His future-focused vision and high moral character will ensure that our already strong USF Athletics program reaches new heights. I look forward to all that USF and the Tampa Bay community will achieve under Michael’s leadership.”
He graduated from Wake Forest with BA in Politics in 1992 and earned his Master’s in Sports Administration from St. Thomas University in 1994.