Ed McLaughlin was named the sixth athletic director in VCU history on July 24, 2012. At his introductory press conference, he wasted little time laying out his vision for the department.
“[Ed] has the vision, the energy and the commitment that we need to continue this upward trajectory that we have enjoyed in recent years at Virginia Commonwealth University,” said VCU President Dr. Michael Rao, noting that McLaughlin stood out among more than 50 applicants. “He is our ultimate leader for our athletics program, and I have supreme confidence in his ability to take us to the very next level.”
McLaughlin, who spent six successful years as athletic director at Niagara prior to joining VCU, is a self-proclaimed college athletics lifer. In 2014-15, he says he’ll proudly celebrate his 24th consecutive year on a college campus.
With McLaughlin comes his track record of accomplishment. However, despite numerous conference championships, NCAA bids, fundraising milestones and academic awards at his previous career stops at Niagara, American University and Merrimack College, McLaughlin hasn’t forgotten the core values that paved the road to success.
“I believe in integrity. I believe in doing things the right way. I believe in hard work. I believe in winning championships,” he said. “More importantly, I believe in the student-athlete experience. I love mentoring student-athletes. I love being around student-athletes and helping them go from their teen years to adults. It’s incredibly rewarding.”
He was incredibly successful in that regard at Niagara from 2006-12. As athletic director, McLaughlin oversaw a department that included 18 Division I programs, more than 300 student-athletes and 50 staffers and helped the Purple Eagles triumph on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
A highly-regarded member of the college athletics community, McLaughlin has also used his leadership skills to serve student-athletes on a national scale. He will serve as the chairman of the Atlantic 10 Finance Committee from 2014-16. Prior to VCU, he was elected to the Division I-AAA Athletic Director Association Executive Committee for the 2011-12 term. He has also served as the chair of the College Hockey America (CHA) Directors Committee and as chairman of the NCAA Hockey Rules Committee. From 2008-10, he was the commissioner of the College Hockey America Conference. McLaughlin has also worked as chair of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s Committee on Athletic Administration.
From 2004-06, McLaughlin served as associate athletic director for external affairs at American University. In September of 2004, he gained additional duties as the executive director of the Eagles Club. He began his tenure at American in May of 2000 as assistant athletic director for facilities and operations and was promoted to associate athletic director for facilities and operations in October of 2002.
A 1995 graduate of Boston College with a bachelor of arts in political science and communications, McLaughlin served as the sports editor of the school’s independent weekly student newspaper, The Heights. McLaughlin earned his master’s degree in health promotion management from American in May of 2005. Prior to his stint at Merrimack, McLaughlin spent two years as the director of media relations for the Hockey East Conference, where he was in charge of the conference publications, organizing the league’s championship tournament and scheduling and developing a marketing plan for the conference championship.The Natick, Mass., native joined American after three years at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass. While there, McLaughlin’s responsibilities included scheduling intercollegiate athletic contests and practices, overseeing travel arrangements for the school’s intercollegiate teams and supervising and managing the budgets of nine of the Warriors’ varsity athletic teams.
McLaughlin and his wife, Shelley, have three children, daughter Hannah, and sons Liam and Rian.