The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Athletic Director Candice Storey Lee reappointed with 5-year deal

As the athletic director of Vanderbilt since 2020, Lee has led the Commodores to numerous accolades, including a national championship, history on the football field and a record-breaking fundraising campaign.
Josh Rehders
Dansby Swanson receives a trophy from Candice Storey Lee at the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Jan. 28, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Josh Rehders)

Vanderbilt Athletics announced the reappointment of Candice Storey Lee as athletic director and vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs this afternoon. The 5-year deal went into effect on July 1.

Lee became Vanderbilt’s first-ever female athletic director and the SEC’s first-ever Black woman athletic director in May of 2020. Under her tutelage, Vanderbilt Athletics announced and began Vandy United, its largest fundraising campaign in history. The program achieved its initial $300 million fundraising goal in May, and it will use that money to enhance the university’s major athletics facilities to improve athletics presence and impact on campus. Among Vandy United’s goals are improvements to FirstBank Stadium and Hawkins Field, Vanderbilt’s football and baseball stadiums. The project will also include a brand-new, state-of-the-art basketball operations center and practice facility as well as enhancements to the golf and tennis facilities.

Lee has bled black and gold for over two decades. She started her journey at Vanderbilt as a four-year letter-winner and captain for the women’s basketball team. In 2002, she led the Commodores to an SEC Tournament championship, in which she secured a first-round victory over Liberty. Lee excelled both on and off the court, majoring in human and organizational development as an undergraduate before graduating in 2000. She then earned her master of education in human development counseling in 2002. During her time with the women’s basketball team, Lee was selected to the SEC Academic Honor Roll five times. Lee took her first job in athletics administration in 2002 before returning to Vanderbilt as a student to earn an Ed.D. in higher education administration in 2012, making her a Triple ‘Dore.

In her first few years as Vanderbilt’s athletic director, Lee has led the Commodores to numerous achievements, including the 2023 NCAA Championship in bowling and a College World Series appearance for Vanderbilt Baseball in 2021. Lee was part of the administration that saw Sarah Fuller become the first woman to ever play (and score) in a Power Five football game. In the 2022-2023 academic year, Lee also led Vanderbilt Football to its best season since 2018, and Vanderbilt Men’s Basketball to its most wins since the 2011-2012 season.

“As a new athletic year approaches and we move forward, much hard work remains,” Lee said. “But with each shovel in the ground and each victory on the field of play, we dare to grow. I know the best days are ahead for Commodore Nation. I can’t wait to continue our journey.” 

Lee has seen undeniable success in just three short years at the forefront of the university’s athletics. Still, she knows there is more work to do and remains determined to help improve Vanderbilt Athletics, making her the perfect person to help the Commodores dare to grow.

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About the Contributors
Andrew Wilf
Andrew Wilf, Sports Editor
Andrew Wilf (’24) is Sports Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. He is from Livingston, N.J., and is majoring in history and minoring in business. He joined the sports staff his freshman year, previously serving as a Staff Writer, Assistant Sports Editor and Deputy Sports Editor. Beyond writing for The Hustler, he is also the host of Anchor Analysis, Commodore Clash and Live From West End. In his free time, Andrew enjoys watching the NFL and playing golf. He can be reached at [email protected].
Aiden Rutman
Aiden Rutman, Senior Staff Writer
Aiden Rutman (‘25) is a student in Peabody College majoring in human and organizational development and minoring in communication studies. He formerly produced The Hustler’s sports podcast, Live from West End. In addition to writing and podcasting, Aiden is an avid New York sports fan, and he loves playing sports, spending time outdoors and trying new foods. You can reach him at [email protected].
Josh Rehders
Josh Rehders, Photography Director
Josh Rehders ('24) is from Houston and is studying computer science in the School of Engineering. When he is not shooting for The Hustler, Vanderbilt Athletics or freelancing, he enjoys finding new music and good food. He can be reached at [email protected].
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