Vanderbilt athletics director Malcolm Turner resigns after one year

Adam Sparks
Nashville Tennessean

Malcolm Turner has resigned as Vanderbilt athletics director, the university announced Tuesday.

Turner promised a bold plan to transform Vanderbilt athletics through a capital campaign, a football stadium renovation and much more. Now he's gone after only one year.

Turner, a former NBA G League president, was a first-time athletics director. He succeeded David Williams on Feb. 1, 2019. Turner did not respond to The Tennessean's request for comment.

Candice Storey Lee, a former Vanderbilt basketball player and three-time graduate of the university, has been named interim vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and interim athletics director, effective immediately.

Lee is Vanderbilt’s first female athletics director and the first African-American woman to head an SEC athletics program. 

Nicholas Zeppos, who hired Turner, stepped down as chancellor in August. New chancellor Daniel Diermeier will take over July 1. Turner's resignation was announced by interim chancellor Susan R. Wente. 

Vanderbilt accepted Turner’s resignation as vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletics director.

“In a year of change and transition, it’s been a privilege to be a Commodore and witness firsthand the transformative power of the intersection of higher education and athletics. Vanderbilt Athletics has accomplished a great deal during my time at Vanderbilt, and the university’s athletics program and student-athletes are poised for future success,” Turner said in a university news release. “However, at the onset of this next critical phase of key athletics initiatives and after considering certain family commitments important to me, I have elected to pursue new opportunities. I fully support what will surely be an exciting next chapter for Vanderbilt Athletics and wish the entire Vanderbilt family the very best going forward. Thank you.’”

Lee served as Williams' closest assistant as deputy athletics director. Wente expressed confidence in Lee in the news release.

“Candice embodies the Vanderbilt Way, which is our commitment to ensuring that student-athletes excel on the field of play, academically and in life,” Wente said. “Candice is a trailblazer. Her unparalleled work ethic, energy and vision, and steadfast commitment to the Commodore family, will only build on our momentum.” 

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