Grant Leiendecker, a 2011 Butler graduate who has served his alma mater as Associate Vice President — Athletics since August 2023, has been selected as the University’s next Vice President and Director of Athletics. Butler President James Danko made the announcement Friday, January 26.
Leiendecker will continue working alongside Barry Collier over the next few months before officially assuming Vice President and Director of Athletics responsibilities with Collier’s retirement, effective May 1.
Danko enlisted the assistance of a diverse group of trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, former student-athletes, and donors, who advised him throughout a comprehensive national search aided by an experienced search consultant in Collegiate Sports Associates.
“Since returning to Butler last year, Grant has developed incredibly positive relationships with our student-athletes, coaches, staff, supporters and members of the University administration,” Danko said. “I had the pleasure of speaking with many exceptional candidates throughout this process, but ultimately, Grant—with his vision, passion, and commitment to our mission and values—stood out above the others. He has a bold vision for Butler Athletics as intercollegiate athletics faces unprecedented transformation. On behalf of the Butler Community, I want to congratulate Grant, his wife Kylee, and their children Luke, Louise, Lucy, Lettie, and Lawson. Butler Athletics is in good hands!”
Since returning to Butler in August in the newly created Associate Vice President — Athletics role, Leiendecker has served as a senior leader in the athletics department with responsibility for leading the comprehensive advancement program for athletics.
“I am extremely humbled and excited to serve Butler as the university’s Director of Athletics,” Leiendecker said. “In many ways, our alma mater is home for my wife Kylee and me, and our family has always considered ourselves part of the Bulldog family. I’m grateful to President Danko, the search committee, and the board of trustees for this opportunity, and to Barry Collier for his leadership of Butler Athletics and his mentorship personally. There is a solid foundation, which includes so many talented student-athletes, coaches, and administrators, for us to continue to build upon as we boldly pursue unprecedented heights for Butler Athletics and our University as a whole.”
“I’m thrilled that Grant is getting this opportunity; he is the right choice at the right time to lead Butler Athletics,” Collier said. “In his time as a Bulldog student-athlete, gaining valuable experience at other institutions, and over the course of the last few months since returning to Butler, Grant has proven himself to be a dedicated and talented leader who I am confident will continue to advance our mission and build upon our success.”
Leiendecker returned to Butler in 2023 after spending the previous four years as Assistant Vice President, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development at Marquette University. In addition to leading the athletics development team at Marquette, Leiendecker served as a member of their athletics and university advancement leadership teams. Under his leadership, Marquette Athletics achieved consistent annual growth in total fundraising and donor participation over the previous four years, culminating with a total of more than $15.7 million in commitments in the most recent fiscal year. Leiendecker previously served as Director of Major Gifts for The Rams Club at University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. As a member of the UNC athletics fundraising team, he played an integral role in achieving record-setting fundraising years of more than $60 million for three consecutive years.
Leiendecker was a scholarship member of the Butler men’s basketball program. He was inducted into the Butler Athletics Hall of Fame in 2021, along with his teammates on the 2010 and 2011 teams that each made appearances in the national championship game.
He graduated from Butler in 2011 with a degree in finance. After graduation, he served as a postgraduate intern at the NCAA in Indianapolis before moving to Chapel Hill to attend graduate school. Leiendecker earned a master’s degree in sport administration from UNC in 2014.