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USF Names College Football Playoff COO New Athletics Boss

Jun 26, 2018

The University of South Florida has brought a former executive back to run its athletic department.

Michael Kelly has been named the new vice president of athletics. He previously served as associate athletic director for external affairs at USF from June 2001 - July 2002.

Since then, Kelly, 47, has held a variety of sports jobs around the country, including chief operating officer for the College Football Playoff since 2012. Kelly managed day-to-day operations, the site selection process for the national championship game and events associated with the title game.

He also was senior associate commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference for six years, and was also the only person to serve as lead local executive for three different Super Bowls in three different communities, having been president of the Super Bowl host committees in Tampa Bay in 2001, Jacksonville in 2005 and Miami Gardens in 2007.

Kelly was also executive director of the 1999 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

"Michael Kelly is a proven leader with a wealth of experience across the national collegiate athletic landscape, as well as within Tampa Bay," USF President Judy Genshaft said in a statement. "He has a track record of promoting competitive excellence, building strong community relationships, developing marketing campaigns, reaching fundraising goals and supporting academic achievement."

"I am truly honored to return to the University of South Florida and Tampa Bay. This is a dream opportunity for me, and I couldn't be more grateful to President Genshaft and the USF Board of Trustees," Kelly said.

He replaces Mark Harlan, who left USF to become AD at Utah. Kelly will be formally introduced at a news conference later this week.