July 6, 2006
OXFORD, Ohio--Jason Lener has been hired as Deputy Director of Athletics, Miami University Director of Athletics Brad Bates announced today. Lener, who comes to Miami after serving as an Assistant Athletics Director at the University of Pittsburgh, replaces Chris Otto, who left to take a position on campus with the Office of University Development. Lener will oversee the business office, ticket operations/group sales and marketing and promotions for Miami beginning Aug. 1.
Lener joins the Miami Athletics staff after a 10-year tenure in the University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department. Rising through the ranks at Pittsburgh, Lener began his career in ticket operations (1996-99), was the director of finance (1999-00) and most recently served as Assistant Athletics Director for Business, Finance and Personnel (2001-06). In his recent post, Lener was a part of the department's senior management team with primary responsibilities of developing, reporting and managing Pittsburgh's $32 million department budget for its 19 sports, reviewing and coordinating all contractual arrangements, administering technological resources and serving as a liaison with Pittsburgh's Budget and Controller's Office, Purchasing Office, Human Resources Division, the Big East Conference and the NCAA business offices.
In addition to his financial responsibilities, he supervised the hiring and performance management of the department's 140 staff members and coaches, handled scheduling for the football program and was the administrator for men's basketball and postseason football. Lener also was the department coordinator for the Men's Big East Basketball Tournament and NCAA Tournament.
"We are extraordinarily fortunate to have such a nationally-respected individual as Jason Lener come to Miami University," remarked Bates. "His references are among the leaders in intercollegiate athletics and his formal education, professional experiences and background combine to make him the perfect administrator to join our team and serve as a catalyst to realizing our lofty visions for the future of Miami Athletics."
Lener started his career at Pittsburgh in 1996 where he quickly moved from Assistant Director of Ticket Operations to Director of Ticket Operations in one year. In his two years as director, he managed the daily operations of a ticket office that generated substantial increases, averaged $7 million annually and increased the football customer base by 50 percent in 1998, which resulted in a then-department record of revenues in excess of $5 million. Lener furthered his advancement in the Pittsburgh Athletic Department when he was named the department's Director of Finance in 1999 before again being promoted in 2001 to Assistant Athletics Director.
"My family and I are extremely excited to join the Miami Family and look forward to the many successes that lie ahead," said Lener. "The one thing that was most evident during this process was the passion that everyone has for Miami University and Miami Athletics. It is an honor and privilege for me to be given this opportunity to work with Athletic Director Brad Bates and the fine athletics staff he has in place."
"This is an exciting opportunity for Jason and his family," said University of Pittsburgh Director of Athletics Jeff Long. "He has done an exceptional job managing our business and financial operations. We have appreciated his leadership, and I expect he will do an outstanding job for Miami University."
Lener joins a Miami University Athletic Department which was cited by Sports Illustrated in its Feb. 13, 2006, edition in "What's Hot" as one of the hottest athletic entities in the country, whose student-athletes achieved the second-highest Academic Performance Rating in the nation in the inaugural release of APR rankings and a department that is poised to grow in unprecedented fashion in the near future.
In 2006-07, Miami anticipates a historical year. The RedHawks host Big Ten foe Northwestern in its football home opener on Thursday, Aug. 31 at Yager Stadium. They welcome a member of the Miami coaching fraternity to Oxford on Friday, Oct. 6 in the dedication game of the new ice arena when former Miami head ice hockey coach George Gwozdecky and his University of Denver Pioneers--who have captured two of the last three national ice hockey championships--come to town. The men's basketball program hosts its second Big Ten team in three years when it clashes with the University of Michigan at Millett Hall on a date yet to be determined.
"Miami is fortunate to add Jason Lener as a key member of its administrative team," said Nebraska Athletics Director Steve Pederson. "I have great respect for Brad Bates, and his ability to recruit a top administrator like Jason is significant. Jason was a key member of our team in our success rebuilding the University of Pittsburgh program. The Miami community will love Jason, Jodi and their children."
Lener earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Westminster College (Pa.) in 1993, where he was a three-year letterwinner in the Titan football program from 1990-92. He went on to earn his MBA from Robert Morris University in 1996 with an emphasis in sports administration while he was a graduate assistant with the football program.
Bates added, "Jason's expertise, intellect, skills and work ethic will further advance Miami's department and complement the talented team that is being assembled here in Oxford. We are extremely excited to have Jason join the Miami family and bring his wealth of experiences to our department."