David Sayler was named Miami University's 16th athletic director on Dec. 13, 2012, and started his role on a day-to-day basis on Jan. 2, 2013. He signed a five-year extension back on Dec. 16., 2013.
He hit the ground running in his first 24 months in Oxford, as Miami Athletics accomplished several records on and off the field under his watch. Miami student-athletes compiled a record semester grade-point average of 3.30 in the spring 2014 semester. In addition, Miami won an all-time high eight conference championships during the 2012-13 school year and has added four more championships this past season. The success Miami Athletics achieved was validated by the RedHawks winning the Mid-American Conference Jacoby Cup for overall excellence in women’s athletics and a third straight MAC Sportsmanship Award last year. Most recently Miami earned the MAC Academic Achievement Award in 2013-14, finishing the year with a 3.20 GPA.
Looking toward the future, Sayler has developed a comprehensive facility master plan that will be the highlight of a fundraising campaign for athletics, set to begin in the spring of 2015. In ramping up toward the athletic campaign announcement, Miami Athletics recorded a record year in terms of total cash donations in a single year and announced in early November that for the first-time in school history all 547 student-athletes donated to the Red & White Club. In June, Sayler announced that for the first time in school history, Miami Athletics also recorded 100-percent participation among its staff in the Red & White Club.
Just recently, Miami announced a $6 million lead gift for the Athletic Performance Center to be built in the north end zone of Yager Stadium. This building will connect to the newly constructed $14 million Indoor Sports Center. The 91,000-square-foot facility will feature a full length football field, netting for baseball, softball and golf, along with four 100-yard sprint lanes, a high jump area and a long jump pit.
Donors to Miami Athletics also made possible a $3.5 million addition to Hayden Park for baseball which will include a locker room, coaches offices and student-athlete meeting rooms. In addition, basketball will benefit from new lighting, new seats and a new floor in Millett Hall this season.
Ice hockey saw the first project completed under Sayler's watch, with a $2.5 million weightroom addition to Goggin Ice Arena, completed in June of 2014.
Prior to joining Miami, Sayler served as the Director of Athletics at South Dakota for two years.
As South Dakota's Athletic Director, Sayler emphasized the improvement of the student-athlete's overall experience and instilling a renewed sense of pride in Coyote athletics. Among his accomplishments were securing USD's 2012 membership in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and leading the way for USD's aggressive Master Facilities Plan, which includes new facilities for basketball, outdoor track and field, and soccer. Sayler secured a $20 million private gift, the largest single contribution in South Dakota athletics history. He also raised funds for a new basketball floor, which was introduced in 2011-12, and football turf, which made its debut in the fall of 2012.
Coyote student-athletes thrived in the classroom during Sayler's time at South Dakota, posting a grade-point average of over 3.1. USD won the Summit League's Institutional Academic Achievement Award in 2011-12, which goes to the school that has the highest percentage of list-eligible athletes on the Summit League Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence.
Prior to joining USD, Sayler served as Senior Executive Athletic Director at Rice University for four years, while also heading the department as Interim Athletic Director from October 2009 to March 2010. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the entire athletic department, directly overseeing all internal operations, as well as providing administrative oversight for all 16 of Rice's varsity sports. He also assisted with the development of a strategic plan for Rice Athletics and served as the administrator of that plan for the department. Sayler also was a key figure in several facility projects across campus. He directed the funding model, planning and building of a $26 million renovation of Autry Court, as well as the $41 million construction of a recreation center.
Sayler also has served two years in senior athletic administration at Oregon State University and four years at Bowling Green State University. In addition, he has been an integral part of the athletic staffs at the University of Houston, the University of Hartford, the University of Georgia and the University of Connecticut, where he earned a masters degree in 1996.
After graduation from Ohio Wesleyan University (1991) with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, Sayler worked three years in the private sector, spending time with Ernst & Young in Cleveland and Peterson Consulting in Chicago.
Sayler, born Sept. 6, 1969 in Greenwich, Conn., is married to the former Katie Fitzgerald of Bowling Green, Ohio. The couple has two sons, Connor Jameson (8) and Liam Patrick (5).