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Navigating The Changing Athletics Landscape With Toledo’s Bryan Blair

Guest Bryan Blair, Toledo
10:52 min watch


Toledo Vice President and Director of Athletics Bryan Blair joins RealResponse Director of Business Development, Collegiate Athletics Hannah Dewey at the 2023 NACDA Convention to discuss the changing athletics landscape. Blair points to the Transfer Portal as today’s biggest challenge, advising administrators to prioritize enhancing the student-athlete experience and building relationships with athletes in an effort to retain talent. Reflecting on his first year in the big chair, Blair notes he was most surprised by the volume of issues an AD handles: “I thought I knew [how much an AD handled] when I was one office over [as Deputy AD] – it comes out I had no idea.” By prioritizing his schedule, navigating time demands and investing in cross-campus relationships, Blair plans to continue building momentum for “Team Toledo” during his second year as a first-time AD.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - What has been the biggest surprise during your first year in the chair?
  • - What advice do you have for first-time ADs?
  • - How did you establish relationships with folks on campus? How did you plan to collaborate with them to amplify Toledo as a brand?
  • - How can administrators start establishing those key campus relationships before they get their first AD position?
  • - What's been the most significant change in the industry recently?
  • - What's the biggest takeaway you learned from working at different types of institutions throughout your career?
  • - You're part of an exclusive club of administrators who love to grill on the weekends. If you were going up against Bobby Flay, what are you serving?