Vanderbilt Names First Female Athletics Director, First Black Woman to Lead SEC School

Dr. Candice Storey Lee has been named interim athletic director at Vanderbilt University, marking history as the school’s first female athletic director and the first Black woman to lead a Southeastern Conference (SEC) athletics department.

Dr. Candice Storey LeeDr. Candice Storey Lee

Lee has been a leader at the university for almost 20 years, most recently serving as deputy director of the athletics program since 2016 and as the department’s senior woman administrator since 2004. A former captain and four-year letter winner for Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball team, Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in human and organizational development, a master’s degree in counseling and a doctorate in higher education administration — all from Vanderbilt.

She succeeds athletic director Malcolm Turner who resigned after one year, leaving behind controversy in his wake. According to MSN Sports, Vanderbilt initiated a spending freeze after Turner spent the “rainy day fund” that the school’s former athletic director had left behind, estimated at $17 million.