Lee Named Deputy AD/SWA/Chief Diversity Officer

Ivan Pelley, Contributing Writer

A long-time collegiate sports administrator is making her return to The University of Alabama after 15 years.  

On Wednesday, it was announced by Director of Athletics Greg Byrne that Karin Lee has been appointed as the new deputy director of athletics at the University — where she will also hold the positions of chief diversity officer and senior woman administrator. 

Lee graduated from the University of North Carolina with a Master of Arts in 1997, and shortly after accepted a job in Tuscaloosa in the UA athletics department, where she served as the assistant athletics director for life skills and community outreach. Ten years later, in 2007, she accepted a job at Ball State University as an associate athletics director, later becoming deputy athletics director. There, she oversaw six sports teams, business operations, human resources, as well as student-athlete welfare and development — not to mention Title IX, gender equity and diversity issues at Ball State. 

“[Lee] comes highly recommended from many industry leaders,” Byrne said. “An impressively qualified individual, she comes with a wide range of experience in the field of college athletics and equity, both on and off campus. In terms of the latter, Dr. Lee has served on the Board of Directors for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and for Women Leaders in College Sports. On various occasions, she has also been a member of a multitude of conference and even national committees, including NCAA Women’s Volleyball, Men and Women’s Tennis, Minority Opportunities and Interests, and Post Graduate Scholarship committees.”  

Director Byrne’s executive leadership team is now made up of executive deputy director J Batt, external deputy director Jessica Paré, deputy director Matt Self, senior associate director Matt Vasey, senior associate director Mike Ward, and the newest addition, deputy drector Karin Lee. The deputy director position was previously held by Tiffini Grimes, who in July returned to serve in the same capacity at her alma mater, Purdue University.  

This news comes on the heels of Tuesday’s, when it was announced that Director Greg Byrne would see his contract extended until the year 2029, as well as gain a 5% pay increase. It stands to reason that he is here to stay, and so, it appears, is Lee. 

“The University of Alabama provided me with the opportunity to start off my career and now to return back to where it all began is something I will cherish,” Lee said.

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]