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Fowler Named Director of Athletics at N.C. State

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RALEIGH — It is official. Middle Tennessee athletics director Lee Fowler has been chosen to succeed Les Robinson as athletics director at North Carolina State University.

Chancellor Marye Anne Fox made the announcement Tuesday morning.

Fowler, who has served in the same capacity at Middle Tennessee State University since 1994, boasts 27 years of experience in collegiate athletics as a player, coach and administrator.

At Middle Tennessee State, Fowler led the Blue Raiders' move from the 1-AA level to Division 1-A. He negotiated MTSU's acceptance and move from the Ohio Valley Conference to the Sunbelt Conference and his program has won that league's All-Sports Trophy for the best all-around sports program each of the last five years after winning it only once in the previous 50 years.

In 1997, Fowler was appointed to the prestigious NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee and serves as the chairman of the NCAA television sub-committee for basketball. He is also a member of the NCAA's certification team and was appointed to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors by the Lieutenant Governor.

"With this appointment, NC State has reason to celebrate a new era for our athletics program -- an era in which the Wolfpack will become a contender at the highest levels of intercollegiate competition," said Fox. "As a former player and coach and as a seasoned administrator, Lee Fowler brings NC State the range of skills we need in an Athletics Director. We're excited about his future as the leader of the Wolfpack."

A 1974 graduate of Vanderbilt, Fowler has upgraded the MTSU football program through a capital campaign and increased football season-ticket sales by 600% during his tenure. Under his direction, the Blue Raiders marketing and sponsorship programs have been restructured and refocused, resulting in a 300% increase in sponsorships. Affirmative action numbers have also increased by 300% at Middle Tennessee State with the addition of personnel and three women's sports programs.

Prior to his appointment at MTSU, the 48-year-old Fowler served as Associate Athletic Director and Director of the Tiger Clubs at the University of Memphis from 1986-94. At Memphis, he increased fund-raising totals from $634,000 in 1985 to a record total of $3,059,000 in 1993, the highest level in school history before or since. The number of top-level donors to the Memphis program more than doubled during his stint.

Fowler served as an assistant coach for the Memphis men's basketball team from 1979-86. The Tiger squads posted an overall record of 154-45 and advanced to the Final Four in 1986. The squad was ranked in the Top 10 five of his seven years on the coaching staff. From 1975-79, Fowler served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Vanderbilt University.

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