ByRandall Barnes, HBCU Pulse
After six months, Florida A&M University has finally named an Athletic Director.
The Tallahassee based HBCU announced Tiffani-Dawn Sykes as Vice President & Director Of Intercollegiate Of Athletics. Sykes leaves her position at Dartmouth College as executive senior associate athletics director for varsity sports and the senior woman administrator to become to second female Athletic Director in FAMU history after Sarah Hill-Yates, who served in the position from 1977 to 1988. Sykes was officially introduced by the university this morning in a press conference outside of Lee Hall Auditorium on campus.
Sykes said in a statement obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat, “I’m honored to have been chosen to lead one of the nation’s most historic programs. With being the 50th anniversary of Title IX, I recognize the significance of me joining the FAMU family in this role.”
She also stated, “I look forward to working with all of the Rattlers in continuing the outstanding legacy that resides on the “Highest of Seven Hills.”
Sykes is a double HBCU graduate, obtaining her Bachelors in Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance from Virginia State University in 2001 and a Masters in Sports Administration in 2010. She’s a former student athlete, serving as a team captain for the Trojan’s volleyball team (she was also a four-year started) and a three-year track and field letterwoman. She worked at Grambling for 3 years as assistant athletics director for compliance. She also oversaw women’s baseball, softball, and women’s tennis teams during her tenure.
The hiring comes after the surprise resignation of former athletic director Kortne Gosha. Gosha joined the staff in December 2019 and facilitated in FAMU’s move to the SWAC in July 2020, the Nike-LeBron James apparel deal announced in 2021 and a multimedia rights deal with Urban Edge Network and HBCU League Pass+ to start the year before resigning in April. This also comes on the heels of FAMUs football compliance violations to start the 2022 season that saw 26 players ineligible to play against the University of North Carolina in Week 0. Michael Smith was named as interim Athletic Director after Gosha’s exit and Gosha is now athletic director at Tulane University.