December 12, 2017
With six years of experience at TCU, the new AD plans to continue building momentum and serving student-athletes.
by Trisha Spence
Jeremiah Donati is the eighth Director of Intercollegiate Athletics in TCU’s history.
Photo courtesy of TCU Athletics/Michael Clements
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by Trisha Spence
Jeremiah Donati stepped behind a podium to face a packed Four Sevens Team Room at the Dutch Meyer Athletic Complex. He was greeted with a 24-second standing ovation.
On Monday, Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. officially announced Donati as TCU’s new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.
“Good afternoon and welcome to the world’s best-kept secret,” Boschini said to the room full of media, coaches, donors, Board of Trustees members and student-athletes. Rumors and speculation of the position change had been swirling since Saturday, surrounding Chris Del Conte’s resignation after eight years to become vice president and athletics director at the University of Texas.
Donati started at TCU in 2011 as a Frog Club gift officer and later became executive director of the Frog Club. In 2013, he served as the associate athletics director and associate vice chancellor for athletic development until he was named deputy athletics director in 2016. It was a quick succession, and fruits of Donati’s work can be seen throughout TCU athletics.
Boschini said Donati was instrumental in the final stages of fundraising for the $164 million rebuild of the Amon G. Carter Stadium, completed in 2012. He was also the point person for the $72 million renovation of the Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena, which opened in December 2015.
“The university’s three highest totals in overall athletic giving have come in during Jeremiah Donati’s years,” said Boschini. “We know that Jeremiah has had tremendous experience. He has a stellar work ethic, and he has a sense of Horned Frog pride that will be instrumental in assuring our continued success in our athletic programs, along with ensuring that they advance in much the same strategic manner as our overall institution.”
Expectations for the athletics department will not change, Donati said. “Those expectations are four things: We’re going to provide our student-athletes with a world-class experience; we’re going to challenge them to be responsible citizens and leaders; we’re going to prepare them to graduate; and we’re going to give them everything necessary to win championships here.”
Donati said one of his top priorities is to complete the fundraising for the east-side expansion of Amon G. Carter Stadium.
“That project is absolutely critical for us in terms of momentum, in terms of our future,” Donati said. “I am 100 percent committed to it.”
Chris Del Conte (left) served as TCU’s athletic director 2009. He oversaw a series of historic moments for TCU Athletics including the move to the Big 12 Conference. Photo by Glen E. Ellman
Donati said his first order of business as TCU’s eighth Director of Intercollegiate Athletics is to listen to the coaches, student-athletes, staff and donors. “We’re going to figure out what we can do to keep providing resources to make those successful because that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about me. It’s not about our staff. It’s about these kids that we serve.”
He holds a BA in politics and government from the University of Puget Sound and a Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School. Before coming to TCU, Donati was with Leigh Steinberg Sports and Entertainment in California as general counsel and director of player representation.
A week after arriving at TCU from California, Donati’s father passed away. “I was devastated. I was crushed. I was confused. I was questioning why I was here – if I had made a mistake, if I should head back to California.”
Strangers reached out and helped during that tough time, Donati said.
“It kept me here. It kept me motivated. I’ve never forgotten that,” he said. “I just wanted to say thank you to those people who are here and the people who did that. It’s because of you that I figured out very quickly this is where I wanted to be.”
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