Bob Roller was named director of athletics at Samford University in an announcement made today by University President Thomas E. Corts. He will officially begin his duties on June 1, 1999.
Roller was named to the position after a six-week search following the announced retirement of Stephen C. Allgood, who has been the school's athletics director since 1988.
Roller was hired by Samford in 1997 to create the Samford Athletic Foundation and to serve as the chief fund raiser for the intercollegiate athletics programs. During that time, the athletic department has seen record growth in fund raising for the school's 17 sports for men and women.
"Bob Roller has demonstrated his ability to raise funds for university athletics, to organize major athletic events, and to interpret the athletic enterprise to the public," Dr. Corts said. "We have given him a good deal of authority and have asked him to maintain a balance weighted in favor of academics, while building and maintaining winning traditions in all sports."
"It's an honor to be given this opportunity to work with the quality coaches, student-athletes, and staff at Samford," Roller said. "My family and I are excited about the future of Samford athletics and it is a realization of a life-long dream for me to accept this position."
Roller came to Samford in 1997 after seven years as vice president of AdCraft Sports Marketing of Louisville, Ky., a division of Host Communications, Inc., which represents more than 30,000 college athletic administrators, NCAA officials, and coaches. During this time, he helped create the Sears Collegiate Champions program, the most comprehensive trophy and scholarship program ever designed for intercollegiate athletics. He also created and managed a publishing division that achieved gross revenues of $750,000 in its first year.
He also directed national collegiate all-star basketball games for the National Association of Basketball Coaches and helped create NCAA Football USA, an international program designed to promote college football at all levels for the American Football Coaches Association and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Roller was director of communications for the Orange Bowl Committee in Miami, Fla., from 1988-91, including two national football championships in 1990 and 1991. He has worked in intercollegiate athletics for the past 18 years, including stops as sports information director at UNC-Wilmington and East Carolina University from 1983-88.
Samford Vice President for Business Affairs, Laverne Famer, praised the work of the search committee during the recent weeks.
"I appreciate the committee's work in enabling us in the selection process," said Farmer. "I have confidence in Bob that he will build on the fine foundation that Steve Allgood has constructed."
Roller is a 1983 graduate of Virginia Tech. He and his wife, Julie, who serves as Minister to Children at Indian Springs First Baptist Church in Birmingham, have one son, Brad (13).