Lee Fowler, an experienced athletic administrator and consultant, has been named interim athletic director at the University of South Carolina Upstate, effective May 20. Fowler will serve in this role until USC Upstate moves forward with a national search for a permanent athletic director.
“I am pleased that Lee Fowler has accepted USC Upstate’s offer to serve as interim athletic director,” said Chancellor Tom Moore. “Lee brings a wealth of experience at several institutions in different conferences, and he has particular knowledge of the NCAA and men’s basketball. He has demonstrated a commitment to higher education and student-athletes while promoting teamwork, loyalty and excellence. His ability to inspire individuals and groups to high levels of accomplishments is just what we Upstate Spartans need at this time of transition.”
Fowler lists the following accomplishments in his professional career: nationally-known and respected NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee Chair, first NCAA Men’s Basketball Issues Committee Chair, successful move from Division 1-AA into Division 1-A at Middle Tennessee State University, no major NCAA violations in career, record breaking fund-raising and ticket sales at every institution, supported academic achievement at every institution, accomplished major facilities upgrades while maintaining balanced budgets, and negotiated strategic conference re-alignment.
“I am looking forward to working with Dr. Tom Moore, the faculty, staff, student athletes, and the local community to realize the great potential that exists at USC Upstate and put together a plan to accomplish their goals for the University’s athletic department.”
After graduating from Vanderbilt University in 1974, where he was a four-year varsity basketball player, Fowler stayed at Vanderbilt as an assistant basketball coach before accepting a similar position at Memphis State University. After completing his master’s degree in 1986, Fowler served as associate athletic director at Memphis from 1986 to 1994. In 1994 Fowler left Memphis to become athletic director at Middle Tennessee State University, where he stayed until 2000, when he left Murfreesboro to become athletic director at North Carolina State University, where he served until 2010. Currently, Fowler is the director of basketball operations for the Sun Belt Conference.
Located in Spartanburg, S.C., USC Upstate offers more than 40 bachelor’s degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing and teacher education, and master’s degrees in education. Among the fastest growing universities in South Carolina, USC Upstate is a diverse and dynamic community of 5,500 students from across the Upstate, 36 states and 51 countries. The USC Upstate Spartans compete on the NCAA Division I level as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Spartans field 17 varsity sports — basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, cross country, and track and field for both women and men; baseball for men; and softball and volleyball for women.