Stevens Announces Departure from Averett as Vice President, Director of Athletics and Campus Operations

Posted on June 25th, 2024 by Bill Dyer

By: Drew Wilson, Director of Athletics Communications

DANVILLE, Va. — After serving Averett University for more than a decade, Meg Stevens announced she is leaving to pursue a tremendous career opportunity and will be stepping down as vice president, director of athletics and campus operations effective July 2 to take a senior position outside of intercollegiate athletics at a private, equity-backed sports and entertainment platform.

For the upcoming academic year, Deputy Director of Athletics Danny Miller will serve as the interim director of athletics — a role he also held during the 2012-13 academic year prior to Stevens’ hiring. A national search for the permanent director of athletics will be launched next spring.

Stevens impact on Averett’s Department of Athletics and the University as a whole have been felt since she arrived in Danville in July 2013, later being promoted to vice president in September 2020. Her efforts have helped position Averett and its Department of Athletics in line for success for the foreseeable future as the University has added sports, grown enrollment and strengthened its profile academically and athletically.

“Eleven years ago, when I hired Meg, I believed that she would provide the personal leadership, the professional expertise, and the strong modeling and mentorship that all of our student-athletes and athletics staff would benefit from,” Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks said. “She has far exceeded my hopes and expectations in every area, spreading her motivation and guidance across all of Averett’s campuses.”

After joining Averett, Stevens collaborated with faculty, student-athletes and staff to develop and strengthen a “3-2-1” philosophy that has pushed Averett to new heights. Under her direction, all teams have strived to achieve a 3.0 grade point average, finish in the top two in the conference, and the entire athletics department works together as “one team.”

Stevens’ “3-2-1” philosophy has paid dividends. In her 11 years as director of athletics, Averett won 16 conference championships and produced 339 all-conference selections, including 18 players of the year, 14 rookies of the year and 10 coaches of the year in the conference. Moreover, her impact was felt on both a regional and national level as her student-athletes have achieved 80 all-region selections and 31 All-America achievements. Academically, Stevens’ influence has helped produce 1,045 academic all-conference selections, 78 Academic All-District achievements and 10 Academic All-America accomplishments that include the 2017-18 College Sports Communicators’ Academic All-America of the Year. This spring, Averett’s student-athletes averaged above a 3.0 GPA for the first time in history.

“For the past 11 years, it has been my privilege to work alongside Dr. Tiffany Franks and the members of the Averett community to create the best possible educational and athletic experiences for our students,” Stevens said. “We have incredible students, great staff, wonderful families, supporters and donors.  The phrase ‘one team’ is more than just a motto at Averett. It is part of who we are and I will carry its meaning with me as I embark on this next phase of my career. I will always consider myself a member of the Averett team and I look forward to the University’s future success.”

Recognitions weren’t just for the student-athletes or teams. On Sept. 1, 2020, Stevens was named the Nike Division III Administrator of the Year by the Women Leaders in College Sports, and the following year, Stevens was named among the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) organization’s 2020-21 Athletics Directors of the Year. A strong advocate for both women and minority leaders in sports, Stevens has served on the board of directors for Women Leaders in Sports, including a one-year term as president of Women Leaders beginning in fall 2023, and has been a keynote speaker or presenter at a number of NCAA conferences and workshops. She has also served on the board for the Boys and Girls Club of Danville.

“Meg has placed Averett firmly onstage in the surrounding community, the region and the nation,” Franks said. “Through her strength of character, her brilliant and tactical leadership and her relentless pursuit of meaningful achievement, she has touched countless students’ minds and hopes and truly transformed the athletics program at Averett.”

Since Stevens’ arrival, Averett has added eight NCAA-sponsored sports including men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s wrestling, women’s golf and men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, as well as dance as a club varsity sport. The growth of Averett’s athletics footprint during Stevens’ tenure led to the Cougars’ invitation to join the prestigious Old Dominion Athletic Conference, beginning in the 2022-23 academic year. Additionally, she has assisted with several facility constructions, expansions and upgrades around Averett, including the development of Frank R. Campbell Stadium, the addition of the Frank H. Fulton Sr Indoor Batting Facility and the renovation of Carrington Gymnasium on Averett’s Main Campus. Additionally, she has been influential in renovations and facility upgrades to the Grant Center, Owen-Fulton Field and other athletics facilities.

Stevens has also helped expand Averett’s brand and visibility thanks to the development of Team Averett corporate partnerships locally and regionally, as well as through her leadership roles within other professional organizations nationally. In addition to her role in athletics, Stevens also had an impact on other areas of campus, including serving on President’s Council and overseeing dining, the bookstore, event management and facilities.

“I am proud to have worked with her and witnessed her growth. My affection and gratitude for her are boundless,” Franks added. “All of Averett will benefit from her work for decades to come, and we happily — and sadly — wish her all the best in this exciting new chapter in her life.”

As Stevens is set to embark on a new chapter in her career, she is excited to see what the future holds for Averett and its athletics programs.

“The department is in great hands with an experienced administrative team, coaches and staff who have helped build the program to where it is today,” Stevens said.