New athletic director Laird Veatch hopes to capitalize on momentum of UofM sports programs

WATCH: New athletic director Laird Veatch hopes to capitalize on momentum of UofM sports programs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — University of Memphis president Dr. David Rudd felt the school needed a leader who could take athletics to the next level.

He said Laird Veatch checked all the boxes in this search Tuesday at Veatch’s introductory press conference at the Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center.

“I can tell you with absolutely no hesitation that Laird is the right choice to do just that,” Rudd said.

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Memphis checked all the boxes for Veatch as well. He didn’t hesitate in mentioning the excitement surrounding men’s basketball.

“You can imagine the impact and the opportunity this presents for an athletic director to step in at a time like this,” Veatch said.

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Veatch made it a point to praise coach Mike Norvell with his development of the football program.

“I’ve met with and interviewed a lot of head coaches,” he said. “Nobody has impressed me more than the time we spent together in just that hour.”

Momentum was the word Veatch used when describing the state of Tiger athletics.

Veatch mentioned the facility projects for football and tennis, hoping he can lead the push for more growth.

“What gets me really excited is the opportunity to continue to build something even bigger and greater,” he said. “As Mike and I discussed, the opportunity here is really limitless.”

Veatch is proven in fundraising. He’s led major facility projects at multiple spots including Florida, Kansas State and Missouri.

Veatch also aims to improve attendance, pointing out the importance of fan engagement.

“We’re going to come at it from every direction, but most importantly we’re going to do it by intentionally building relationships in the community,” he said.

A focus on coaches and student athletes, and a drive for improved facilities and attendance.

Veatch hopes it equals to more winning.

“We’re going to win, but we’re going to win the right way and we’re going to enjoy doing it,” he said.