“Todd Stewart is a welcome addition to our athletic department. He is so talented and has such a diverse background, I believe all 19 athletic programs at WKU will benefit from his expertise and skills,” stated Selig. “Todd is so well-connected throughout the industry. The branding of WKU and the school’s multimedia presentation including the Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network will be greatly enhanced as a result of Todd’s arrival. This growth in our athletic communications area is part of the continued evolution into a dynamic and successful Division I-A intercollegiate athletic department.”
Stewart is familiar with WKU Athletics, as he has been the Associate Commissioner of Communications at the Sun Belt Conference since 2005. In that role, he managed a four-person staff responsible for internal and external communications for all Sun Belt Conference publicity. He 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 spearheaded the conference’s first-ever baseball and softball television package by helping formulate an agreement between the conference and broadcast partners Comcast/Charter Southeast Sports (CSS) and Cox Sports Television (CST). He also served on the BCS Media Relations Committee for college football’s 2008 National Championship Game.
Stewart was also responsible for planning the conference’s football and basketball media days, managing and implementing special projects such as the league’s recent 30th Anniversary Celebration, and promoting the SBC through the conference’s television package, web site, publications and press releases. And, in addition to helping host schools promote and increase community awareness of Sun Belt championships, Stewart created and helped institute media relations standards for every league school.
“I am truly honored to join such a vibrant university and outstanding athletic department, and I really appreciate the confidence expressed by Dr. Selig,” Stewart said. “I am looking forward to working with a tremendous staff, and our family is very excited to be a part of the Bowling Green community.”
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. While there, Stewart developed the Browns’ strategy for releasing organizational messages via press conferences, press releases, the team’s official web site and publications. He also directed a 25-member game day staff that was responsible for all media related functions on the field as well as in the press box, locker room and press conference room — his operation was recognized as one of the most efficient and thorough by the Pro Football Writers Association.
And, 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.
Stewart was also the Assistant Director of Public Relations for the Indianapolis Colts from 1991-99, where he helped direct liaison activities between the organization, community and media with major responsibilities focused on writing press releases as well as arranging and coordinating interviews and press conferences. In addition to working on the Colts’ annual yearbook, team media guide and weekly game program, he helped prepare each week’s information packet for the media and assisted in the management of game day press box operations.
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). He also served on the NFL’s media policies committee. And, 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 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 school. He worked as a graduate assistant in the sports information department at Tennessee from 1988-90 while also pursuing a master’s degree in communications. In addition to his role as the baseball contact for the Volunteers, he assisted the sports information staff with football and men’s basketball while at UT.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Stewart and his wife, Rebecca, have one son, Blake (8).
“Todd has made a tremendous impact on the Sun Belt Conference,” said the league’s commissioner, Wright Waters. “He has moved us as a league from simply reporting stats to engagement with the media. We will miss Todd, Rebecca and Blake, but we are delighted they are moving to a conference school.”