CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The board of trustees for the Virginia Athletics Foundation announced today (Sept. 11) Kevin Miller as VAF’s new executive director and a deputy athletics director.
“We are thrilled to announce Kevin as our new executive director,” said Frank Edmonds, the president of the board of trustees of the Virginia Athletics Foundation. “Kevin was the unanimous choice of the search committee. His passion for college athletics, ability to build strong relationships and proven track record in development make him an ideal leader for the organization as it approaches its 75-year anniversary of supporting student-athletes at the University of Virginia.”
“Kevin is a highly regarded and respected advancement professional and athletics administrator,” said Virginia director of athletics Carla Williams. “He is known for his energy, innovation, relationship building and passion for excellence in college sports. He has a great understanding of the challenges and opportunities within our industry. We are thrilled with his selection and eager to get to work.”
Miller joins the VAF after spending the past six-plus years as a senior administrator for the University of Georgia and The Georgia Bulldog Club. He was the organization’s senior associate athletic director and deputy executive director the past two plus years. He previously held the title of associate athletic director for development and deputy executive director with the TGBC from 2017 to 2021.
The Georgia Bulldog Club is the fundraising arm of the Georgia Athletic Association charged with providing student-athlete scholarships, first-class facilities and the financial support necessary to run and operate each of UGA’s 21 varsity sport programs.
Miller will oversee all aspects of VAF’s fundraising operation including but not limited to, the annual fund, the endowed scholarship program, fundraising efforts to support the operational needs for the sports programs, suite lease gifts and planned gifts.
“I am incredibly excited to begin serving the UVA community as the new executive director of the VAF,” Miller said. “I want to thank the search committee, the VAF board, Carla Williams, and Mark Luellen (UVA vice president for advancement) for identifying me and believing in me.
“I’m grateful to my family for instilling a strong work ethic from a young age and for their support throughout this professional journey. I would also like to thank all of my mentors, superiors, colleagues and donors I have worked with, who have challenged me by inspiring me to think bigger in order to achieve unprecedented success every step along the way. I can’t wait to begin working with the VAF board and staff to build meaningful relationships with donors by aligning their interests with opportunities for involvement in support of UVA Athletics.”
Miller will work directly with the VAF board of trustees as the secretary/treasurer of the board. He will collaborate closely as deputy athletics director with UVA Athletics and will represent UVA Athletics as the chief development officer to the UVA advancement community.
At Georgia, Miller was involved in all facets of TGBC operations, including major gifts, annual giving, stewardship, donor relations, events, premium seating and the G-Club. He had direct oversight of the major and annual giving efforts while previously overseeing stewardship and events, and the G-Club areas within the TGBC.
Miller helped lead a fundraising staff that eclipsed $500 million in funds raised since fiscal year 2017 and over $100 million in fiscal year 2023 for the first time in UGA Athletics history (a 17 percent increase year-over-year and over 80 percent increase since fiscal year 2017). He helped to establish the $300 million Commit to the G Campaign in fiscal year 2022, which is more than one third of the way towards its goal with just under four years remaining in the comprehensive campaign.
During the past two years, he led the major gifts fundraising efforts by developing target goals and metrics for the major gifts team to meet goals for capital projects at UGA such as the Magill Tennis Complex, Foley Field Expansion, Turner Softball Stadium, Track & Field Locker Room, Basketball Weight Room & Locker Room Improvements, Soccer Locker Room Upgrades, Student-Athlete Nutrition Grab & Go, the Golf Practice Facility, Indoor & Outdoor Track Complex, and the Football Practice Field Complex. During his first four years with TGBC he played a critical role in raising funds for capital projects such as: the William Porter Payne & Porter Otis Payne Indoor Athletic Facility, the Sanford Stadium West End Zone Complex, Jack Turner Soccer Stadium Renovation, Boyd Golf Center Renovation, an Equestrian Center, the Magill Tennis Complex, and the Butts-Mehre Football Operations Expansion project.
He also led the ticket office staff to develop strategies to maximize ticket sales, streamline ticket operations processes and facilitate the transformation from a transactional model to a service driven model. He was the sport administrator for Georgia’s highly successful men’s golf program and served as a senior staff member for the University of Georgia Athletics Association.
Prior to working at Georgia, Miller served as the associate athletic director for major gifts and capital campaigns for West Virginia University’s Mountaineer Athletic Club (MAC).
Miller joined the MAC staff in April 2012 as a major gifts officer. In 2013, he was promoted to assistant athletic director for annual giving and then promoted to associate athletic director for annual giving in 2016, where he was responsible for managing and overseeing the annual giving and priority seating and parking programs for WVU.
He led the annual fundraising efforts during a record fiscal year in 2016, which totaled more than $15.6 million, while creating and implementing fundraising plans that resulted in a 15.6 percent increase from 2014 to 2016. In 2017, Miller was promoted to associate athletic director for major gifts and capital campaigns. That year he led a team of major gift fundraisers that closed a MAC record of 53 major gifts commitments while closing an individual MAC record of 21 major gift commitments during the fiscal year.
Prior to WVU, Miller spent three years as the assistant athletic director for development at Georgia State and oversaw the annual giving program. Under Miller’s leadership, the program grew its unrestricted annual dollars by more than 1,500 percent and its donor base by 450 percent in his last two fiscal years on the job.
Prior to his time at Georgia State, Miller served as the assistant director of development for the University of Central Florida’s Golden Knights Club (GKC) from March 2007 – December 2008. At UCF, he coordinated the GKC’s annual giving efforts and ticket priority initiatives. He also worked for the UCF Foundation from August 2006 – March 2007 and served as the founding director of the UCF Student Call Center.
Miller previously served as an intern on the Mountaineer Athletic Club staff from 2005-06 after beginning his career in development as a student caller, supervisor and incentives manager at the WVU Foundation, where he was recognized as the all-time leading phone-a-thon fundraiser while working there during his undergrad and graduate school years from 2002-2006.
Miller received his bachelor’s degree in business administration-finance in 2005 from West Virginia and his master’s degree in sport management in 2006. The Wheeling, W.Va., native and his wife, Elizabeth, have three daughters – Emily, Ella James and Elaina Grace.
The announcement comes after a national search, led by Korn Ferry and a search committee, composed of current and former VAF trustees, and extensive consultation between the VAF, UVA Athletics and University Advancement.
About the Virginia Athletics Foundation
Virginia Athletics Foundation (a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization) through its fundraising efforts, strives to support the athletics program at the University of Virginia by providing student- athletes the opportunity to achieve academic and athletic excellence. VAF and its 10,000+ donors support all 316.6 athletic scholarships (the maximum allowed by NCAA), the academic experience of the student-athletes, sport-specific operational costs, awards, and facilities. Over the last five years, the foundation has averaged $61M annually in total gifts. The VAF includes a staff of 22 full-time employees.