Michelle Edwards, an athletics administrator with 15 years’ experience in compliance at the conference and institutional levels, began her work as Saint Leo University’s Associate Athletics Director for Internal Operations on Nov. 19, 2014.
Edwards also serves as the department’s Senior Woman Administrator, while serving as sport supervisor for women's basketball, volleyball, men's and women's tennis, women's lacrosse, and cheer. She also serves on department senior management team providing leadership in creating policy and representing athletics to various campus and external constituencies; including all Sunshine State Conference and NCAA meetings and functions. Edwards also serves as the departmental Title IX Representative.
Edwards joined the Saint Leo staff from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where she was the Director of Compliance. In that capacity, Edwards directed the NCAA, conference, and institutional compliance program for designated teams, and served as the administrative liaison to the business office, development and external affairs, marketing, public relations, and ticket operations.
Prior to joining the SMU staff, Edwards was the Associate Director of Compliance and later the Director of Compliance at the University of Georgia from 2007 to 2011. Her duties at Georgia included rules education for the Bulldogs’ nearly 700 athletes, 50 coaches, and 200 staff members, while also providing interpretations of NCAA and Southeastern Conference rules and legislation.
While at Georgia, Edwards also provided academic evaluations for incoming high school and transfer students, assisted the development office with the stewardship and education of booster groups, and processed various NCAA and SEC reports.
Edwards’ was on the compliance staff at Fresno State from 2005 to 2007, assisting and coordinating a variety of functions including NCAA rules interpretations, academic certification and incoming recruit academic audits, and working with Fresno State’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Her career in collegiate athletics compliance began at the SEC office, where Edwards was a Compliance and National Letter of Intent Intern in 2002. Edward also enjoyed a stint on the strategic marketing staff at ESPN in 2004, where she developed marketing and promotions plans for various ESPN networks and divisions.
“We are excited to have Michelle Edwards join our staff. Her experience at the SEC office, ESPN, Georgia and SMU have positioned her to step right in with our administrative team,” said Saint Leo Director of Athletics Francis X. Reidy upon Edwards' appointment to the staff. “Michelle’s extensive compliance background, coupled with her athletic and educational talents while possessing a coach’s view, all helped to separate her from the other candidates.”
A 2002 graduate of the University of Florida, Edwards received her Master of Business Administration and Master of Sport Business Management from the University of Central Florida in 2005. She is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), and served on the group’s 2009 national convention planning committee. She currently serves on the NCAA Eligibility Center Advisory Group.
Edwards is also a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC). Michelle and her husband, Dustin, are the parents of two sons, Grayson and Austin (Ace).
“I'm excited to join the veteran administration here at Saint Leo and be a part of the next chapter in the growth and success of the Lions,” said Edwards. “I have great respect for Francis Reidy, his values, and those of the university, having seen how far he has brought Saint Leo athletics. He has set forth a compelling vision for the athletics program, and I am enthused about joining the team to fulfill that vision.”
“As a central Florida native, it has always been a dream of mine to bring my wealth of experience back home, and it is a privilege to have that opportunity while joining the growing program at Saint Leo. My family and I are honored to be a part of the community, and I could not be more excited to join the work of advancing the collective interests of our student-athletes, coaches, and fans,” said Edward.