Georgia Tech associate athletic director a candidate at UMass

Last modified: Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ryan Bamford, the senior associate athletic director at Georgia Tech, has emerged as a candidate for UMass’ vacant athletic director opening.

According to sources with knowledge of the search, Bamford was expected to interview early this week at an off campus location and may have interviewed already. It’s unclear how many members of the search committee were taking part in the interview.

Bamford oversees football, men’s basketball and baseball at the Atlanta school, where he was worked since 2011.

He was a standout 3-pointer shooter at Ithaca College as a guard for the men’s basketball team from 1996-2000.

Bamford has New England roots. He grew up in New Hampshire where his father Steve was the athletic director at Plymouth State and a high school principal. Bamford has his masters in athletic administration from Springfield College.

He worked his way up the athletic department ladder at Yale before being hired at Georgia Tech.

On the web site Hartford assistant A.D. Brian Gerrity made a list of 12 athletic administrators who’d positively affected his career and wrote the following about Bamford in 2011:

“I worked under Ryan when he was an Assistant Athletic Director at Yale University. Whenever his name is brought up, the first comment other administrators make is about how hard he has worked. While at Yale, he went from intern to a senior associate athletic director in a very short time frame. Last spring, he accepted a position at Georgia Tech overseeing internal operations. Ryan has shown me that hard work, preparation, efficiency, and an unwavering positive attitude leads directly to professional success. He has earned every promotion and every position he has held, and the correlation between his work ethic and professional success is no accident. Ryan taught me to always be prepared, and showed me finishing a task fast and finishing a task well are not one in the same.”

Former Rhode Island athletic director Tom McElroy is also reportedly a potential candidate, but it’s unclear whether he’s been asked to interview. McElroy left URI after two years with three years left on his initial five-year contract and neither he nor Rhode Island administrators discussed it publicly.

McElroy is familiar with UMass’ football situation. He was part of Lew Perkins’ team when the former UConn A.D.’s consulted for UMass during the school’s decision to upgrade to FBS football.

McElroy’s biggest asset is likely his connections to the American Athletic Conference. The AAC employs quite a few employees that were with the Big East before the Big East and AAC split. McElroy was the associate commissioner of the Big East from 1981-2001 and was the deputy director of athletics at Connecticut from 2001-2004. He’s a 1974 graduate of St. Bonaventure.

Since 2008, McElroy has been a senior vice president at the Leffler Agency, a sports advertising agency.

Matt Vautour can be reached at Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at


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