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Dr. Charles McClelland, Director of Athletics

mcclellandDr. Charles McClelland was named Texas Southern University’s Director of Athletics in April 2008. As athletics director, McClelland supervises 16 sports - nine women’s and seven men’s.  His daily duties include managing budgets, scheduling, fundraising, marketing and keeping abreast of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules and regulations.  

Since becoming director of athletics for TSU, McClelland has moved quickly in evaluating the overall athletics program and moving it to a higher level. In his first-two years, he secured over $700,000 in corporate sponsorships to help support the athletics programs. A firm believer that strength and conditioning play a vital role in the success of student-athletes on the playing field, McClelland refurbished the weight room with new equipment.  

For McClelland, success in athletics is not just about winning championships, but it’s about graduating student-athletes. In an effort to assist the student-athletes in reaching their full academic potential, he has restructured the athletics academic enhancement center with the hiring of a new assistant athletics director for academic enhancement and has added the position of academic advisor for student-athletes.

Improving the university’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) and Graduation Success Rate (GSR) are among McClelland’s top goals, while insuring that the athletics program maintains compliance with NCAA and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) rules and regulations. In doing so, he has reorganized athletics compliance with the hiring of a Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance, Director of Compliance and Academic Certifying Officer.

Most recently, McClelland was instrumental in finalizing a deal with the Houston Dynamo soccer team to share in a new 21,000 seat stadium for Tiger football. Last year, he secured a student athletic fee that was passed by the student-body with 88% of the vote.

In McClelland’s first-two years at the helm of the athletics program, several sports have shown improvement. Football posted its first winning season since 2000 and finished the year tied with the second best conference record (5-2). The baseball and softball teams both won the SWAC’s Western Division titles. Baseball garnered its first 30-win season in school history. For the first time since 2003, the men’s basketball team advanced to the SWAC tournament championship, while the women’s basketball team advanced to the semi-finals for the first time in 17 years.

Before arriving at TSU, McClelland served as the athletics director at Prairie View A&M University for seven years. While at Prairie View, he increased football scholarships to the NCAA I-AA maximum of 63 grant-in-aids.  He also increased athletics grant-in-aids for the remaining 17 sports to near the maximum allowed by the NCAA for a Division I program.

Other improvements made during McClelland’s tenure at Prairie View were the implementation of a incentive pay structure for coaches, the establishment of an athletics scholarship endowment which collected over $500,000 in donations, and the addition of women’s soccer.

From a competitive standpoint, each of Prairie View’s 18 sports steadily improved under McClelland’s tenure.  For the 2006-07 sports year, the PVAMU athletic program received the school’s first-ever SWAC C.D. Henry Award, symbolic of overall excellence among the SWAC’s male sponsored sports.  Overall, the PVAMU athletics program finished in second place for the James Frank Commissioner’s Cup Award and third for the Barbara Jacket-Sadie Magee Award, symbolic of overall excellence among its female sponsored sports. .   Both awards garnered the highest level of recognition for the PVAMU athletics department in over 16 years.

In 2007, McClelland was named one of 29 winners of the AstroTurf Athletics Director of the Year Award as presented by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).  McClelland was chosen as the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) West award winner. He is the first athletics director from the SWAC to receive this prestigious award.

A 1993 graduate of Prairie View A&M, McClelland earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and in 1997 received an MBA from Prairie View.  In 2010, he received his doctoral degree in higher education administration at Texas A&M University.

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, McClelland’s extra-curricular affiliations include membership in the Texas Southern University National Alumni Association, Prairie View A&M University National Alumni Association, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Lambda and the National Association of Black Accountants. 

McClelland is in the third year of a four-year appointment on the NCAA Leadership Council. One of the highest ranking councils in the NCAA, the Leadership Council is responsible for establishing direct general policy, the strategic plan for the NCAA and advises the board of directors on administrative bylaws and regulations.

McClelland is a past president of the Houston Touchdown Club and also serves on the board of directors. Last year, he was re-elected by fellow SWAC athletics directors to serve as chairman of the SWAC Council of Athletics Directors for another two-year term.

McClelland is the father of two sons, Cainan (12) and Ashton (10).

Last Updated: 1/17/13