AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel, PhD, today announced the appointment of Ryan Erlacher as the new director of athletics. The appointment follows a comprehensive and competitive national search. With his selection, Erlacher becomes the third director of athletics in Augusta University's history. He will assume his new role on?Oct. 17, 2022.
"Recently retired athletics director Clint Bryant left a long legacy of success at Augusta University, so we knew we had some big shoes to fill. We have the utmost confidence in Ryan Erlacher, who brings a tremendous amount of experience from Clayton State University and other institutions," said Keel. "I'm excited to welcome Ryan to Jaguar Nation and can't wait to see him help grow the future of athletics here. I know he will lead our student athletes and coaches to many wins, both athletically and academically."
Currently the director of athletics at Clayton State, Erlacher takes over an Augusta University athletics program that has emerged at the top of the Peach Belt and Southland Conferences in multiple sports. Men's basketball has achieved unprecedented success, winning the Peach Belt Conference regular season and tournament titles before reaching the NCAA Division II National Championship game last year. Volleyball won the Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship for the fourth consecutive year before reaching the NCAA Division II Elite Eight for the first time in program history. Men's Cross Country won its third consecutive Peach Belt Conference Championship. Women's golf won its inaugural Southland Conference Tournament and earned a spot in the NCAA Division I Regional.
"My family and I are beyond excited to be joining Augusta University and the local community," said Erlacher. "I'd like to thank President Keel, Dr. Russell Keen and the entire search committee for their vote of confidence in me to lead Augusta athletics into the future. Clint Bryant was a great leader in our field, and I look forward to continuing the tradition of excellence he started.
"We are going to set a bold and exciting vision for the future of Augusta University athletics, one where I truly believe the sky's the limit. We will work tirelessly to set a higher standard of excellence in everything that we do and produce programs that represent our institution exceedingly well, on and off the field of play."
As an executive and administrator in intercollegiate athletics, Erlacher brings over 15 years of experience to Augusta University. As chief athletics administrator at Clayton State, he oversees 11 sports and manages more than 30 staff members. Under his leadership, academic success within Clayton State Athletics is at an all-time high, with the department achieving above a 3.0 GPA for the past eight semesters. For the past three years, Clayton State has earned the Peach Belt Conference President's Academic Award. In 2022, the department was a finalist for the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence.
Prior to Clayton State, Erlacher served as the senior associate director of athletics at fellow Peach Belt Conference member institution Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., from 2011-18. Erlacher had a brief stop a Newman University as associate director of athletics in 2010, and as assistant athletic director at Northwood University from 2007-10. At the outset of his professional career, Erlacher worked at Florida State University as an athletics assistant from 2006-07 and fellow DI Stetson University from 2004-05. With the latter, he was director of basketball operations for the Hatters.
Erlacher began his career as a student assistant for the Flagler College men's basketball team under legendary coach Bo Clark. During that time, the Saints went 91-27 and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in program history, reaching No. 2 in the national rankings.
Erlacher?earned a bachelor's degree in sport management from Flagler College in 2004 and a master's degree in sport administration from Florida State in 2007. He and his wife Kellie are the parents of a son and a daughter.
Erlacher will spend the next several weeks transitioning his duties at Clayton State. Until his arrival at Augusta University, interim Director of Athletics Melissa Brocato will continue to serve in that capacity.
The athletic director search committee was chaired by Keen and included Augusta University's Dr. Zach Kelehear, vice provost for instruction; Sharon Quarles, women's volleyball head coach; Dr. H. David Hunt, associate professor, Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; Jason McKenzie, associate director of philanthropy for athletics; Haley Gilbert, student athlete, women's track and field/cross country; Dr. Michael Ash, vice president of the Birdie Club; Emmett Turner, president of the Birdie Club; and Henry Ingram, donor and friend of Augusta University athletics.
As one of Georgia's four public research institutions, Augusta University offers customizable, accessible education on campuses in Augusta and across the state. Augusta University aims not only to be different, but also to make a difference — to reimagine and recreate the future of art, technology, education and health care. Home to Georgia's only public academic medical center and designated by the state as a health sciences center of excellence, Augusta University is dedicated to creating a safer, healthier and more equitable Georgia.