Tom McMillen, head of the FBS athletic directors' organization LEAD1, announces he's stepping down

Updated May. 16, 2024 10:15 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tom McMillen, president and CEO of the association representing athletic directors of Football Bowl Subdivision schools, announced Thursday he would step down this fall to pursue other opportunities.

McMillen, who has led LEAD1 for eight-plus years, said he would transition to a part-time role on June 30 and leave the organization Sept. 30. LEAD1 represents interests of the 133 schools that play the highest level of Division I football and attempts to develop consensus among their athletic directors as they address issues affecting college athletics.

LEAD1 said it would conduct a national search for a successor to the 71-year-old McMillen, who was a basketball All-American at Maryland, 11-year NBA player and a former Maryland congressman.

“I am immensely grateful for this opportunity to be deeply connected to one of my passions — college athletics,” McMillen said. “I want to thank all our athletic directors who have supported the LEAD1 mission during my tenure as president and CEO.”


LEAD1 was founded in 1986 as the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association. McMillen took over as its leader in 2015.

“His visionary guidance has elevated our organization and profoundly impacted the landscape of college athletics,” said Michigan athletic director and LEAD1 board chair Warde Manuel. "Tom’s legacy will be remembered as a testament to the power of passionate service and transformative leadership.”


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