Furman names Villanova’s Donnelly athletics director


GREENVILLE, S.C.—Furman University President Elizabeth Davis announced today that Jason Donnelly, senior associate athletics director and executive director of athletics development at Villanova University, has been named athletics director at Furman.

Donnelly will begin his duties at Furman on Aug. 12.

“We are excited that Jason is joining the Furman team,” Davis said. “He has been a highly successful administrator and fundraiser at Villanova, demonstrating a key understanding of the important role that athletics plays in higher education. We welcome him to Furman and look forward to the vision and energy he will bring to the university.”

Donnelly replaces Mike Budde, who left the school earlier this spring to become athletic director at Army-West Point.

Donnelly has worked at Villanova since 2005 and assumed his most recent role in 2015. He has been responsible for leading the Villanova Athletics Fund, managing fundraising and external support for all 24 varsity sports. During the past four years, Donnelly has helped raise more than $120 million for Villanova Athletics, including three consecutive record-breaking fundraising years representing a 330% increase in dollars raised.

“I want to thank President Davis, Board Chair Alec Taylor and the Furman Board of Trustees for their belief in me and the future of Furman Athletics,” Donnelly said. “I am truly honored to join the Paladin family and to do my part as a steward of an incredible athletics department. We will compete for championships and our student-athletes will earn their degrees, and we will do both with the utmost of integrity and class. My family and I can’t wait to get to Greenville and get started.”

Donnelly joined Villanova in 2005 as assistant men’s basketball coach and director of basketball operations. He later became special assistant to head coach Jay Wright and was a key contributor to Villanova’s recent basketball success, including the Wildcats’ NCAA Division I national championship wins in 2016 and 2018. He also served as director of athletics development (2013-2015) before assuming his present position.

Before coming to Villanova, Donnelly was a teacher and basketball coach at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Virginia, as well as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at Muhlenberg College, his alma mater. He also served as director of basketball operations for USA Basketball at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil.

A native of Colonia, New Jersey, Donnelly graduated from Muhlenberg in 1999, where he played basketball and was a student leader, and he has completed his coursework toward a master’s of public administration from Villanova. Donnelly and his wife, Rachel, a native of Baskersville, North Carolina, have three children—Aidan (9), Raeyln (7) and Allister (3).

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