Grant Leiendecker ’11, a member of the Bulldogs’ 2010 and 2011 men’s basketball teams that reached the national championship game, has returned to Butler University as Associate Vice President—Athletics. He is expected to start in mid-August and will report to Barry Collier, Vice President and Director of Athletics.
In this newly created position, Leiendecker will serve as a senior leader in the athletics department with responsibility for leading the comprehensive advancement program for athletics. Additionally, he will play a pivotal role in elevating the focus on delivering exceptional fan experiences while leveraging his experience at other top programs to foster an environment that supports optimal performance for our student-athletes and teams.
“Grant has proven to be an incredible fundraiser over this initial decade of his career in college athletics,” Collier said. “The opportunity to bring Grant back to Butler provides our University, Athletics Department, and our student-athletes with another talented and dedicated Bulldog focused on providing an exceptional student-athlete experience and enhancing Butler’s standing nationally and within the BIG EAST and Pioneer Football League.”
Leiendecker returns to Butler 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 the 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 the 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.
“Grant will work alongside Barry, (Vice President for University Advancement) Jonathan Purvis, (Associate Athletic Director of Development) Ken LaRose, and our talented fundraisers to advance the mission of our University,” Butler University President James Danko said. “Athletics continues to be a great source of pride for Butler and a connection point to our alumni, students, and friends of the University. Grant is an excellent ambassador for his alma mater and will be able to develop meaningful relationships with those who generously support Butler.”
“I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to return home and serve my alma mater in this role,” Leiendecker said. “For my wife Kylee and I, Butler University holds a special place in our hearts, and we are eager to reunite with our Bulldog family. I’m grateful to Jim Danko and Barry Collier for this opportunity, and I can’t wait to lock arms with the Butler community, staff, and student-athletes in our effort to help Butler Athletics reach unprecedented heights.”
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 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.
Grant and Kylee have five children—Luke, Louise, Lucy, Lettie, and Lawson.