Stewart Named Interim Director of Athletics at WKU

WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell announced Thursday that after nearly two years as WKU's Senior Associate Athletic Director, Todd Stewart will take over as Interim Director of Athletics after the departure of Ross Bjork. He will handle the day-to-day responsibilities of WKU's athletic department and oversee the 19 varsity sports and the over 400 student-athletes and employees.

Stewart was named Senior Associate Athletic Director in August of 2010 after serving as WKU’s Associate Athletic Director for Communications and Media Relations since June of 2008. As Senior Associate Athletic Director, he served as the second in command for all aspects of athletics and WKU’s 19 sponsored sports.

As Senior Associate Athletic Director, Stewart assisted in strategic initiatives that advance the mission of Athletics, served as a critical advisor for all important decisions for the department, and helped formulate and implement the department’s communication strategy, vision, and philosophy. He also assisted in the day to day management of football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and baseball and oversaw all aspects of scheduling for football, basketball, and other sports as needed.  He worked in a strategic fashion with all External Relations including Ticket Sales, Development, IMG, and Marketing to create specific plans for revenue growth and new forms of communication and outreach.

Stewart continued to oversee all components of communications and was responsible for helping publicize and brand WKU athletics on the national, regional and local level.  He managed the department responsible for generating media exposure for the university’s 19 sports through television, radio, press releases, press conferences, publications, event coverage and the athletic department’s website, wkusports.com.

Stewart joined WKU in June of 2008 after a 40-month stint as Associate Commissioner, Communications for the Sun Belt Conference where he and his staff were responsible for internal and external communications for all Sun Belt Conference publicity.  Stewart created and helped institute media relations standards for every league school, served as the conference’s primary contact for men’s basketball, and was the conference liaison with ESPN/ERT and the school’s athletic directors in developing the Sun Belt’s annual football and basketball television schedule.  He also served on the BCS Media Relations Committee for college football’s 2008 National Championship Game.

Prior to coming to the Sun Belt, Stewart worked in the National Football League for 15 years.  He was hired by the Cleveland Browns as Executive Director of Communications and Media Relations in 1999, helping to create the franchise’s communications/media relations department as it reentered the league as an expansion team.  Stewart developed the Browns’ strategy for releasing organizational messages via press conferences, press releases, interviews, the team’s official web site and publications.   The club’s website, clevelandbrowns.com, earned the No. 2 ranking out of 131 professional team web sites in 2004 in an annual survey conducted by Street and Smith’s Sports Business Journal.  Stewart assisted the NFL’s public relations staff at Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans and was the AFC public relations representative at the 2000 Pro Bowl in Hawaii while with the Browns.  He also served on the NFL’s Media Policies Committee.

Stewart was the Assistant Director of Public Relations for the Indianapolis Colts from 1991-99, where he helped direct activities between the organization, community and media with major responsibilities focused on writing press releases and producing team publications as well as arranging and coordinating interviews and press conferences.  While with Indianapolis, he worked on the NFL’s public relations staff at Super Bowl XXVII in Los Angeles and at three consecutive AFC Championship Games (1997-99).  The Colts’ public relations staff was presented the 1996 Pete Rozelle Award, an annual honor bestowed to the NFL’s top PR staff as voted by the Pro Football Writers of America.

Stewart, 45, received his bachelor’s degree in communications from Miami (Ohio) in 1988, where he twice received the Miami University Parents’ Council Student Achievement Award for outstanding service to the university.  He worked as a graduate assistant in the sports information department at the University of Tennessee from 1988-90 while also pursuing a master’s degree in communications.   A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Stewart and his wife, Rebecca, have one son, Blake (11).