As was the case with head football coach Dabo Swinney replacing departing coaches this month, the Clemson Board of Trustees also looked within the family to replace departed athletics director Dan Radakovich who is now at Miami. The school announced Thursday afternoon deputy AD Graham Neff, who had been serving as the interim AD, would take over the job on a full-time basis. He’s the 14th athletics director in Clemson history.
Here’s the official release from Clemson:
Graham Neff has been named the 14th director of athletics in Clemson University history, President Jim Clements announced Thursday, following approval by the Compensation Committee of the Clemson Board of Trustees.
“Our department of athletics has a long-standing tradition of success that continues today, most recently with another national championship for our men’s soccer team, and a deep commitment to student-athlete development. Graham Neff has played an integral role every step of the way,” said Clements. “Graham is a highly sought-after athletics administrator, a brilliant and selfless leader, and we’re thrilled about his vision for Clemson athletics.”
“Clemson has been home to my family for the past nine years, and I am grateful to President Clements and the Board of Trustees for their faith in us,” said Neff. “Clemson is one of the most dynamic universities in the country, with tremendous alignment through all areas of leadership. This institution will remain committed to serving our student-athletes and helping create the best opportunity to win championships. Clemson’s national profile continues to grow, and I believe the best is yet to come.”
The 38-year-old has been in senior leadership positions within Clemson Athletics since 2013, including as chief financial officer and director of capital projects prior to his most recent role as deputy director of athletics. Neff has helped oversee the build and financing of more than $200 million in facility improvements, aided in the continued development of IPTAY, and served as a sport administrator for football and men’s basketball.
During his time at Clemson, the football program has won two national championships, the men’s basketball program made a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 run in 2018. Academically, Clemson’s graduation success rate has been above 91 percent for seven consecutive years, and student-athlete total GPA has been above 3.0 for nine straight semesters.
Before Clemson, Neff served two-plus years in several senior administrative roles at Middle Tennessee State Athletics, with emphasis in finance, facilities, and external operations.
Neff began his career in college athletics as a student manager for the men’s basketball program at Georgia Tech, which advanced to a Final Four in 2004. Neff then went to work in the Financial Advisory Services group at Deloitte and Touche from 2006-08, prior to returning to a finance and ticketing role at the Georgia Tech Athletic Association.
Neff has worked within college athletics for more than 15 years, after earning a civil engineering degree and an MBA from Georgia Tech. Neff and his wife Kristin have three sons – Grady and twins Emmett and Nolan.