June 26, 2012
DALLAS (SMU/NAADD) - The National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) honored SMU's interim Director of Athletics Tim Leonard as its Fundraiser of the Year on Tuesday, June 26, at the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup Luncheon, held in conjunction with the 47th Annual NACDA Convention at the Hilton Anatole Hotel.
Leonard has led resurgence on the SMU campus since his arrival in July 2008, helping secure over $100 million in private support of the athletic department. Mustang Club donations have grown for four straight years while all athletics annual giving has also reached milestone marks.
The 2011 fiscal year reached an all-time high, but will soon be broken by 2012 numbers which are still being finalized. In the last two fiscal years, annual giving to SMU Athletics has increased over 40 percent under Leonard's watch.
"This award is a deserving recognition of Tim's professionalism, his success in reaching out to larger and larger numbers of Mustang supporters and to the growing interest in SMU Athletics nationwide," said Brad Cheves, vice president for development and external affairs at SMU. "This is a great time to be a Mustang."
Leonard arrived at SMU as Senior Associate A.D. and oversees all fundraising, sales and revenue-generation efforts on the Hilltop. He came to the Hilltop after nine years in a similar position at UCF, holding the title of Assistant Vice President and Associate Athletic Director for Athletic Development. He had management and oversight of the Golden Knights Club, premium seating and the University's Annual Fund, and was responsible for selling the naming rights of UCF's new football stadium to Bright House Networks for $15 million in 2006.
Leonard graduated from Boise State University with a B.A. in communication in 1992 before spending five years as Director of Annual Giving for the athletics department at Illinois State. There, he directed, implemented and supervised the annual giving programs. From 1997-99, he worked as an assistant director of the Bronco Athletic Association at Boise State, where he oversaw the organization and implementation of soliciting annual gifts through the Bronco Athletic Association.
A native of Twin Falls, Idaho, Leonard and his wife, Monica, have two children, Hayley and Nathan.
NAADD is the first organization of its kind to provide educational and networking opportunities, enhancement of acceptable operating standards and ethics, and establishment of the overall prestige and understanding of the profession of athletics development and fund raising.