FAMU names new athletic director, second woman in the role

The announcement comes after former Florida A&M University Vice President and Director of athletics Kortne Gosha resigned in April.

Black girl magic is again headed to the athletics department at Florida A&M University as the HBCU has tapped Tiffani-Dawn Sykes as its new director of athletics.

Sykes, 42, previously served as the executive senior associate athletics director for varsity sports at Dartmouth College, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. She will become the second female director of athletics in FAMU history. Sarah Hill-Yates’ tenure was from 1977 to 1988.

The announcement comes after former FAMU Vice President and Director of Athletics Kortne Gosha resigned in April. Vice President and Interim Director of Athletics Michael Smith then filled the position. TheGrio reported that Tulane University has since hired Gosha as a senior associate athletic director.

J. R. E. Lee Hall on the campus of Florida A&M University, where Tiffani-Dawn Sykes has become the second female athletic director in the school’s history. (AdobeStock)

“I’m honored to have been chosen to lead one of the nation’s most historic programs,” Sykes said in a statement. “With [it] being the 50th anniversary of Title IX, I recognize the significance of me joining the FAMU family in this role.”

FAMU launched a nationwide search for a new athletic director, turning to DHR International to help collect applications, nominations and recruit candidates, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The list was narrowed down to Sykes and two other candidates: Florida Sports Foundation President and CEO Angela Suggs and former Temple Deputy Director of Athletics Craig Angelos. 

FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson, Ph.D. ultimately decided on Sykes. “We are happy to welcome Ms. Tiffani-Dawn Sykes into the FAMUly,” said Robinson in a statement. “Her credentials are impeccable and her demonstrated commitment to excellence are what we need to move our program forward. I am excited about this hire and look forward to working with her to take FAMU to the next level.”

Sykes noted in the statement that she is looking forward to “working with all of the Rattlers in continuing the outstanding legacy that resides on the “Highest of Seven Hills.”

Sykes graduated from Virginia State University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education, recreation and dance. She obtained a master’s degree in sports administration at Grambling State University.

In 2019, she joined Dartmouth as its athletics director for compliance and when promoted a year later to the senior associate athletics director for varsity sports position, she also assumed “a senior woman administrator role.”

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