Tulane Names David Harris As New Director Of Athletics

Nov 27, 2023

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – Tulane University President Michael A. Fitts announced the hiring of David Harris as the Green Wave’s new Director of Athletics and the Ben Weiner Director of Athletics Chair. Harris, who was named an Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 2021, is currently Director of Athletics at the University of Northern Iowa. He will begin his new role at Tulane on January 3.

Harris, a native of Baton Rouge, will oversee an athletics program enjoying remarkable success both academically and across the 17 sports in which they compete. The university’s athletic facilities are also undergoing major expansions and improvements while the Green Wave fan base is growing exponentially.

CSA is grateful to have assisted President Fitts and the Search Committee on this exciting Green Wave search.

“Central to David’s long and deep experience in collegiate athletics administration is his passion for the success of student-athletes, the value and integrity of competition and the importance of sports in uniting and inspiring students, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and fans,” Fitts said. “At Tulane, David will oversee an incredibly talented and dedicated group of student-athletes, coaches, administrators and staff who have elevated our athletics program to a high point in its long and storied history. With this hire, the opportunities and potential are limitless.”

With Harris’ arrival in 2016, the University of Northern Iowa continued gaining national recognition for besting Power Five programs across all sports, winning 20 conference championships, having 17 “Coaches of the Year,” 28 “Players of the Year” and earning 11 NCAA tournament bids. He has helped lead record-breaking fundraising efforts and facility development at UNI, including a major renovation of the UNI-Dome, the construction of a softball hitting facility, outdoor tennis courts, a football team meeting room, an outdoor football practice field and the replacement of the playing surfaces for football and basketball/volleyball. Harris is also a current member of the NCAA’s Division I Council, the NCAA’s Council Coordination Committee and Chair of the NCAA’s Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee.

Under Harris’ leadership, student-athletes have consistently maintained GPAs and graduation rates that exceed the overall student body.

“My career began supporting the academic pursuits of student-athletes and it has always been important to me to find a place that combines world-class academics with a pursuit of excellence in all of its athletic endeavors,” Harris said. “President Fitts is committed to the well-being, academic achievement and lifelong success of Tulane’s student-athletes and continuing to build an athletics program that matches the university’s nationally renowned research and academics.”

The attraction of returning home was also a big draw, Harris said. “I was born and raised in south Louisiana, so I know firsthand that the city of New Orleans is an amazing community. It is the right place for my wife Felicia, who is a native of Natchez, Mississippi, and I to continue to raise our family.”

Patrick Norton, Tulane’s senior vice president and chief operating officer, said Harris’ experience and enthusiasm for the AD position at Tulane were obvious from the start.

“During our athletic director search, David stood out for his exceptional vision for Tulane athletics and passionate desire to move our program forward to compete at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics,” said Norton. “David’s extensive knowledge, experience and leadership will be invaluable to our athletics program and the development and success of our student-athletes.”

Harris will serve as a member of the university’s senior leadership team and will serve on the President’s Cabinet. The announcement of Harris’ hiring follows an extensive nationwide search led by Tulane Board Member Doug Hertz and a committee of board members, faculty, athletics staff, students and community members.

For the full release from Tulane Athletics, click HERE.

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