Averett's Ferguson Steps Down as Athletics Director
DANVILLE, Va. — Sam Ferguson, who has served as
Averett University's director of athletics since 2007, has accepted
a new opportunity to become the executive director at the law firm
of Clement & Wheatley in Danville, the university announced on
Tuesday. Ferguson, a 1997 graduate of Averett, began his career as
the school's first full-time sports information director in 2000
before being promoted to director of athletics.
“Sam has been a leader whose profound character has been an inspiration not only to intercollegiate athletics at Averett, but to our entire university community,” Averett President Dr. Tiffany Franks said. “I am deeply appreciative to Sam for his passionate service to the university, to our student-athletes and coaches, and to the surrounding community.”
During his tenure as director of athletics, Ferguson was responsible for supervising Averett's 13-team athletics program, which includes more than 320 student-athletes and 30 full- and part-time employees. Under Ferguson, Averett won two conference titles in men's basketball and set or tied school records for wins in women's basketball, football and women's soccer. In 2010, the women's soccer team advanced to its first conference championship game and the men's soccer team posted its most wins in more than two decades. Averett's student-athletes also shined in the classroom. During the 2011-2012 academic year, Averett produced a pair of Academic All-Americans for the first time in school history, as well as a record 94 academic all-conference recipients.
Ferguson has championed Averett's growth, including more than $100,000 in capital improvements to its athletics facilities over the past year. He also played a role in the strategic plan of the university as co-chair of the buildings and properties committee. That plan includes a $6.3 million stadium complex for the athletics department.
Ferguson was also instrumental in the creation of Averett's new athletics logo, which was unveiled earlier this year. In addition to his role with Averett, he has served on numerous committees and was the president of the USA South Conference.
“Averett is a family that will always be near and dear to my heart,” Ferguson said. “I am so appreciative for the role the University plays in my life and grateful to Dr. Tiffany Franks and Charles Harris for the chance I was given to lead our athletics department. While I will certainly miss the daily interaction with student-athletes and university colleagues, I am thrilled about this new chapter in my career. I'm looking forward to working for one of the top law firms in the state and becoming a member of the Clement & Wheatley team. This is an exciting opportunity for me and my family.”
Outside of Averett, Ferguson has served on the board of the First Tee, Big Brothers Big Sisters Executive Board, as well as the Kiwanis Board of Directors. Ferguson was also a member of the Shrimp Fest Committee and is active with the Danville/Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce.
“Sam has served Averett University and Averett athletics in a wonderful manner that reflected the values of the University and his own personal standards,” said Charles S. Harris, Averett's executive vice president. “He moved the program forward in consistent fashion. The quality of the individual student-athlete experience, the commitment to athletic excellence, academic performance, community service and integrity have been hallmarks of his administration and are positive reflections of his character. Sam's departure is a loss for Averett University, but during his tenure he has made this program better, for that I am personally and professionally thankful.”
While an undergraduate at Averett, Ferguson was a two-time letter-winner on both the men's basketball and golf teams. He was the North Carolina Wesleyan College Spring Golf Tournament medalist in 1997 and was twice named Academic All-Conference.
A national search will begin immediately for a permanent director and an interim appointment will be announced before Ferguson's departure on Sept. 15.
Release courtesy of the Averett sports information department.