Furman University President Dr. Elizabeth Davis introduced Mike Buddie as the school’s new athletics director on July 29, 2015.
Now three years into his tenure, Buddie has firmly applied his stamp to Furman’s 20-sport intercollegiate athletics program, including negotiating a multi-year partnership with Nike to become the official provider of athletic footwear, apparel, and equipment; producing the department’s first balanced budget; spearheading the effort by Furman, Greenville, and the Southern Conference that brought the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament games back to the Upstate in 2017 while landing two future tournament stops; securing several major financial gifts, including a trio of $1 million dollar endowments in support of the football and volleyball programs; and making seven head coaching hires, including Adam Herendeen in women’s tennis, Brett Harker in baseball, women’s golf’s Jeff Hull, football’s Clay Hendrix, men’s basketball’s Bob Richey, Wally King in softball, and Matt Davidson in men's golf.
In addition Buddie recently completed the first year of a four-year term as a member of the NCAA Baseball Committee beginning on Sept. 1, 2017.
Buddie’s first three years have witnessed a major resurgence of Paladin athletics, evidenced in Furman’s 92nd, 98th, and 73rd place finishes among 294 NCAA Division I qualifying schools in Learfield Sports’ Director’s Cup competitions – the highest by any SoCon school and program’s best finishes in over a decade, with last year's 73rd place finish the best in program history. In addition, Furman’s women claimed both the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 Germann Cups while the Paladin men finished second twice in the last three years in the race for the Commissioner’s Cup – two annual SoCon awards recognizing all-sports competition excellence. All told, Furman has captured a SoCon leading 22 league championships and qualified 12 teams for NCAA Tournament competition the last three years.
Buddie came to Furman following a decade at Wake Forest University, where he served as senior associate athletic director for administration/development. He is Furman’s 10th athletics director since 1960.
He oversaw a number of different areas at Wake Forest, serving as the sport administrator for baseball, women’s soccer, and men’s golf squads while also working with the football and men’s basketball programs. His varied duties included scheduling, travel, budget oversight, and tracking academic progress of student-athletes. He also cultivated relationships with donors for major gift opportunities and oversaw construction, event management, multi-media, and auxiliary revenue units. In addition, he was involved with contracts, conference issues, NCAA legislation, and capital projects.
Before being named associate athletics director at Wake Forest, he served as director of the Varsity Club, promoting and preserving the friendships and loyalties enjoyed by former student-athletes at Wake Forest. He served as director of development for WFU’s Calloway School of Business & Accountancy for two years before beginning his career in athletic administration.
Buddie earned a B.A. in communications in 1993 from Wake Forest, where he was a three-year letter winner as a pitcher on the Demon Deacon baseball team. He still holds the program’s single-season record for strikeouts with 138 in 1992.
Drafted by the New York Yankees in the fourth round of the 1992 MLB Draft, he spent five seasons in the major leagues, pitching in 87 games from 1998-2002. He was a member of the Yankees’ 1998 World Series championship squad and later spent three seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers.
A Berea, Ohio, native, Buddie and his wife Traci have two children, Zachary and Zoe.