Azama named John M. Schael Director of Athletics

Prior athletic administration stops include Columbia University, Miami (Ohio)

Anthony J. Azama has been named the John M. Schael Director of Athletics at Washington University in St. Louis.


Azama comes to the Danforth Campus after spending the past two years as the senior associate athletics director for external operations at Columbia University in New York. He was responsible for the strategic direction, oversight, coordination, leadership and active participation in the revenue generation and external functions while at Columbia.

“Anthony is a leader who knows college athletics from the inside out,” Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton said. “Throughout his stellar career as an athlete and a professional in the field of sports marketing and management, he has engaged with institutions that value the same things we do — the overall experience of true scholar-athletes and the health and wellness of the entire student body.

“I am delighted to have him as a colleague and look forward to many years of visionary leadership.”

“We are excited that Anthony will be joining Washington University as the John M. Schael Director of Athletics,” said Lori White, vice chancellor for student affairs, who made the announcement. “Anthony impressed us with his vision, enthusiasm, strong background in marketing and communication; his deep support for the overall development of students; and his commitment to diversity.”

In less than a year, Azama restructured Columbia’s External Operations units — Marketing & Promotions, Communications, Sponsorship, Ticketing, Memberships, Licensing, Branding and Merchandising — to create double-digit growth in each of its revenue streams while taking the department through a rebranding process.  Columbia’s “Only Here” concept was created and designed to promote the university’s New York City location, the career and lifetime opportunities the university affords students, its athletics support performance program and its status as an Ivy League institution.

“I want to thank Chancellor Wrighton, Provost (Holden) Thorp, Vice Chancellor White and the search committee for this tremendous opportunity to work with dedicated coaches and equally talented scholar-athletes,” said Azama, who starts July 1.

A 1998 cum laude graduate of Vanderbilt University, Azama was a three-year letterwinner on the Commodore football team and earned a bachelor’s degree in human and organizational development. In 2015, he earned his master’s degree in business administration from Miami University (Ohio).

“Anthony’s experiences at both the collegiate and professional sports level, and the positive impact he has made as a leader in athletic administration throughout his career, makes him the perfect choice to be the athletics director at Washington University,” White said.

Prior to his two-year stint at Columbia, he spent nine years at Miami (Ohio) as director of marketing and sales from 2006-11 before being promoted to assistant athletic director for marketing, sales and licensing.

Azama also has experience working with Florida Citrus Sports (FCSports), a sports marketing and management organization responsible for staging over 100 events including the Capital One Bowl, Champs Sports Bowl and the Gridiron Classic College All-Star Game.

To read more about Azama, visit

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