In announcing the appointment of Michelle Meadows as athletics director, President W. Taylor Reveley IV said she ‘has experience that prepares her for every facet of the job.’
For more than a decade, Michelle Meadows had been a behind-the-scenes driver of the growth and development of Longwood athletics. Now entering her 14th year in the department, the 2001 Virginia Tech graduate and first-ballot Hokie Hall-of-Famer will continue that push on the front lines as Longwood’s new athletics director.
In May, President W. Taylor Reveley IV announced he was naming Meadows as director of the institution’s 14-sport athletics department. She’d earned the appointment after an eight-month stint as interim athletics director and a 13-year tenure in multiple high-level roles within the administration.
“Michelle Meadows profoundly understands the mission of Longwood athletics and the university’s vision for our program,” Reveley said. “She has experience that prepares her for every facet of the job, and she is a deeply valued, admired and respected member of our broader university community who knows this place well.
“But perhaps most important is the extraordinary commitment and care she shows every day for the well-being and success of our student-athletes, making use of her own experience to transform lives and shape citizen leaders. She has demonstrated beyond all doubt she is ready to be the next leader of Longwood athletics.”
A Richmond native and a former softball standout at Virginia Tech who currently serves on the NCAA Softball Selection Committee, Meadows is one of only 40 female athletics directors at the Division I level. She also teams up with Reveley to form one of higher education’s only AD-president pairings of former D-I athletes.
In her eight months as interim athletics director— which began in October following the departure of 12-year Longwood athletics director Troy Austin for Duke—Meadows presided over what was arguably Longwood’s best season in its 15-year Division I history. The softball program won its fifth Big South Championship. Men’s basketball had a breakthrough campaign that featured a berth in the College Basketball Invitational. Lacrosse nailed a second-place Big South finish, and women’s soccer and field hockey finished in the top three of their conferences.
Also during that period, Longwood received the largest gift in its history: $15 million toward the construction of the new Joan Perry Brock Center, which will host university events and serve as the new home of Longwood men’s and women’s basketball.
Meadows has fueled several groundbreaking initiatives at Longwood, including the creation of the Student Athlete Enhancement unit and consolidation of the internal operations cohort. She also played a crucial role in Longwood’s move into the Big South in 2012.
Most recently she has expanded Longwood’s business operations and academic services offices, streamlining a multitude of internal processes and enhancing academic opportunities and support for Longwood’s more than 200 student-athletes, resulting in a record-breaking overall GPA in 2018-19.
Beloved by Longwood’s student-athletes, she received the 2016 Student Athlete Advisory Committee’s A.C.E.S. Award following her bout with breast cancer, which she battled into remission that same year.
“I want to extend my deepest thanks to President Reveley and the Board of Visitors for this opportunity at a truly special place I’ve come to care for so deeply,” said Meadows. “There is more work to be done, and I am fortunate to be able to continue that pursuit with such a remarkable team of coaches, staff, student-athletes and supporters.”