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Amy Folan named to lead Central Michigan Athletics

CMU’s next athletics director brings experience and passion

Contact: Heather Smith

Central Michigan University President Bob Davies announces the hire of Amy Folan as the university's next Zyzelewski Family Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics after a nationwide search. Folan brings to CMU extensive experience in collegiate athletics, with special focus on fundraising and compliance.

"I am thrilled to welcome Amy Folan to Central Michigan University and the Mount Pleasant community," Davies said. "Our goal was to find a person who would continue, if not steepen, our upward trajectory. Amy's past accomplishments and proven leadership skills will have an immediate and positive impact." 

Davies also recognized Folan's ability to tackle tough issues head on and turn them around.

"Amy is a well-respected leader and will be an outstanding representative of CMU Athletics, our student-athletes and our entire university community," Davies said. "An incredible passion for student-athletes, combined with her experience and leadership in fundraising and compliance, positioned her as the best fit to take our athletics program to the next level."

Amy Folan

Amy Folan

Folan joins CMU from the University of Texas at Austin, where she has served as executive senior associate athletics director since 2012. In her current role, Folan oversees the Longhorn Foundation, the fundraising arm of Texas Athletics, and the Texas Athletics ticket office. In addition, she supports the Texas athletics director with special projects and strategic initiatives, including various daily business operations.

Under Folan's leadership, the Longhorn Foundation recorded six of the most successful fundraising years in its history. In 2019, the foundation boasted its largest membership and Annual Fund total since it began, with a total production of $116.5 million.

Folan, who succeeds Michael Alford, will officially begin with CMU Athletics Oct. 5. Rachel Blunt has served as the interim director of athletics since Aug. 31.

"I am honored to be joining the CMU Chippewa family," Folan said. "Central Michigan is a tradition-rich program with an incredible record of success, and I look forward to working with our student-athletes, coaches, university and surrounding communities, fans and supporters to build on the CMU tradition of excellence and continue to raise the bar.

"I see this tremendous opportunity as a new chapter for me and also for Central Michigan Athletics," she said. 

Folan joined University of Texas Athletics in 2002 as the assistant athletics director for compliance. Since then she also has served as associate athletics director for athletics compliance and sports programs and associate athletics director for administration and sports programs. Prior to joining Texas, Folan held roles with the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the University of Georgia.

Folan, the eighth athletics director at CMU since 1940, will be introduced at a livestreamed event at noon on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Due to orders limiting attendance at gatherings, in-person attendance will not be allowed at the event. 

Media will have the opportunity to interview Folan, President Davies and Executive Vice President and Provost Mary C. Schutten via conference call at 1 p.m.

A former president and board member of the National Association of Athletics Compliance, Folan also served as a member of the Fellows Program of the Division 1A Athletics Directors Association and currently serves on the executive committee of the Sports Management Institute.

Folan holds a bachelor's degree in communication sciences from the University of Connecticut, where she also was a member of the women's soccer team. She also has a master's degree in sport management from the University of Georgia. 

Schutten, who chaired the search committee composed of faculty, staff, students and alumni, said she was pleased with the diverse pool of candidates. 

"This search attracted an outstanding pool of candidates from across the country, representing both the Power 5 and Group of 5 conferences," Schutten said. "The search committee identified three finalists who had amazing attributes and rose above the rest, but I am eager to welcome Amy to CMU."

The associate vice president/director of athletics reports directly to the university president and is responsible for providing strong leadership, administration and overall coordination of a comprehensive Division I intercollegiate program.

Folan and her husband, Joseph, have two children, Anelio and Giada.

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