UConn announced Monday night that David Benedict, the chief operating officer for the athletics department at Auburn University, has been hired as the program’s new athletic director.
Benedict will replace Warde Manuel, who will start at Michigan next month. A press conference will be held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. to formally introduce Benedict.
“We make this announcement with excitement, pride, and tremendous optimism about the future,” UConn President Susan Herbst said in a press release. “Today’s AD must be have the sophistication to manage and closely oversee finance, marketing, media contracts, fundraising and fan engagement, among many other things. And these responsibilities are all secondary to the traditional responsibilities of utmost import: taking care of our student athletes, supporting their academic success, and making sure that our coaches have what they need to compete successfully.
Benedict has run the daily operations for the Auburn athletic department since 2014. Prior to that, he served as deputy athletic director at Minnesota (2012-14) and also had leadership positions at Virginia Commonwealth (2010-12), Long Beach State (2007-10) and Arizona State (1996-2006).
Benedict graduated from Southern Utah in 1995, where he also played linebacker on the football team. He earned a master’s degree from New Mexico Highlands in 1996.
“I am very excited to join UConn Nation as its Director of Athletics and am very grateful to President Herbst, Board of Trustees Chairman Larry McHugh and the entire Board of Trustees and Search Committee,” Benedict said in the press release. “The success of UConn from both an academic and athletic perspective is known around the country. UConn wins national championships and plays in bowl games and I wanted to be part of an elite program like this. I look forward to getting to know all of our coaches, student-athletes and administrators. My family and I can’t wait to be part of this special university!”