Brad Edwards was named Director of Athletics at Jacksonville University in August of 2012. At Jacksonville, Edwards leads a program comprised of more than 500 student-athletes competing in 19 NCAA Division I sports. He also serves on the executive leadership team for the University and chairs the Marketing Committee for the Atlantic Sun Conference. In addition he is a member of the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl Committee.
In Edwards’ first year leading the program the Dolphins got off to a terrific start winning five regular season or conference tournament championships and having five student-athletes achieve All-American recognition, along with three conference Coach of the Year designations. Academically, JU had the Atlantic Sun Conference Female Student-Athlete of the Year, received four NCAA Public Recognition Awards, and had the highest cumulative program GPA on record with nine teams achieving over a 3.2 GPA.
Over the course of the year, Edwards and the leadership team at Jacksonville raised a department record of approximately $5,000,000 in new capital gifts for athletic facilities, spearheading the development of a 5,500 seat expansion with a new press box to the Football and Lacrosse stadium, a new Softball office/locker room complex with covered batting cage, and a new Lacrosse team meeting room.
Edwards’ work in higher education began in 1999 after a successful nine-year career in the NFL, joining the University of South Carolina Athletics Department in the role of Assistant Athletic Director for Development. Edwards eventually rose to Senior Associate Athletics Director/CFO where he oversaw all financial operations during a time of unprecedented growth with the annual revenue budget increasing from $28,000,000 to total revenue from all sources of over $52,000,000. During his tenure, Edwards played a primary role in the development of over $170,000,000 in revenue, construction projects, and project financing and subsequently received a letter of commendation from the S.C. State Treasurers Office for his handling of the Department’s financial and business affairs.
Edwards also played a key role in a leadership team that guided the athletics program to new benchmark of No. 11 nationally in the Learfield Directors’ Cup all-sports competition, and provided direct support to the Athletics Director in all coaching hires and strategy. In addition, he played a critical part in new facility design, development and construction; most notably co-day-to-day oversight of design and construction of the 18,000-seat Colonial Life Arena, and primary oversight of the 34,000 sq ft Charles Crews Football Facility. He also was responsible for all venue concessions and food service, department advertising and multimedia rights, coordination of bowl travel, executive suites, assisting in securing major financial gifts, and many other operational aspects of the department.
Edwards was also responsible for day-to-day management of the Colonial Life Arena, which in only its second year of operation recorded a Pollstar Magazine ranking of 22nd worldwide in terms of number of concert tickets sold.
Following his tenure at South Carolina, Edwards joined IMI Resort Holdings in Greenville, S.C. As Vice President he was was responsible for the recruiting, hiring, training, and motivating of sales executives and sales managers on IMI’s luxury resort real estate properties located across North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Working on behalf of developers such as The (Donald) Trump Organization, The Related Group, East West Partners, Koll/Starwood, among others, IMI recorded sales of approximatley $500,000,000. Edwards was also responsible for the day-to-day oversight of design and construction of IMI’s New York City office on 5th Ave.
In 2009, Edwards left IMI and joined Newberry College as Director of Athletics, ultimately serving as Senior Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and Institutional Advancement. At Newberry, Edwards led an athletics program consisting of more than 560 student-athletes competing in 16 NCAA Division II sports. He also was a member of the College’s executive leadership team, served as vice-chair of the NCAA Division II Football national committee, and was a board member for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) representing the South Atlantic Conference.
In 2010, Edwards took on the added responsibility of overseeing the restructuring of the Department of Institutional Advancement, consisting of all the College’s external affairs in the areas of fundraising and development, alumni affairs, marketing, branding, public relations, communications and media relations. During this time, total giving to the College experienced a 92% increase over the same period from the previous year. Additionally, national mentions of the College went from zero to a total of 26, and Edwards oversaw the redesign of the College’s website which won a Silver Addy award for interactive media design.
During Edwards’ tenure at Newberry, the athletics program moved up 37 places nationally in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings while fielding 21 All-Americans, five Academic All-Americans, an individual NCAA National Champion, three individual NCAA National runners-up and four South Atlantic Conference championship teams. Also under his supervision, ten Newberry College athletic teams participated in NCAA post-season play.
Academically, the department set a South Atlantic Conference record in his first year by placing 135 student-athletes on the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Moreover, the department led the SAC for three straight years in producing the most student-athletes to earn recognition on the Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. Programmatically, the department also implemented a new comprehensive academic enrichment program and the Champs Life Skills program.
Edwards also spearheaded the fundraising, design, and construction of a new state-of-the-art all-sports strength and conditioning center, a new sports medicine and athletic training room, a new softball complex, and a new soccer complex.
Edwards graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Management from the University of South Carolina. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Marketing Management Program, as well as the Executive Management and Leadership Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Additionally, Edwards holds a Masters in Business Administration and is a graduate of the Sports Management Institute; an academic alliance between the business schools and athletic departments of the Universities of Southern California, Notre Dame, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Texas-Austin, Michigan, and Georgia.
Athletically, Edwards was a standout athlete for the University of South Carolina Gamecock football team, earning second team All-American honors after the 1987 season. He went on to play free safety in the NFL for nine seasons after being drafted in the second round of the 1988 draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He also played with the Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons and was a defensive co-captain and runner-up MVP with the Redskins Super Bowl XXVI championship team. He was a USA Today All-Pro and a UPI All-NFC selection. In 2011, Edwards was elected to the South Carolina (statewide) Athletic Hall of Fame for his contributions to athletics as an athlete and as an administrator. During much of his NFL career, Edwards also worked in the financial services sector as a financial associate for the Equitable Companies where he was a Top-10 Sales Agent worldwide, and later as a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch, developing a multi-million dollar book of business under management. He was featured in the Wall Street Journal for his dual work in the NFL and in the financial services sector. Always competitive, Edwards remains an active athlete, having participated in numerous masters level track and field events; focusing on the 100 meter and 200 meter dash.
Edwards grew up in Fayetteville, N.C., and is married to the former Marlana Brown. He has three sons – Jackson, Thomas, and Colton.