Vanderbilt announces athletics strategic plan, football locker room renovation

Adam Sparks
The Tennessean

Vanderbilt released its athletics strategic plan, which was created during recently resigned athletics director Malcolm Turner's tenure.

It is a 17-page outline of priorities and planning for Vanderbilt athletics for the next few years and was released Wednesday.

The university also announced a fundraising campaign for a "significant upgrade" to the football locker room, with construction planned to be completed before the 2020 season. Interim athletics director Candice Storey Lee said the locker room renovation will be less than $5 million.

No other specific facility upgrades are mentioned in the athletics strategic plan. There are general references to "build and renovate competition venues," as determined by a master facility plan, which has not yet been released.

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The athletics strategic plan includes five areas of focus:

  • Academic & Personal Development: Use our athletics platform as a model for the commitment to academic and personal development espoused by Vanderbilt University.
  • Athletic Excellence: Optimize the ability of our student-athletes to win and consistently compete for championships across our entire sports portfolio. 
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Actively work with our partners across the university, alumni and the Nashville community through regular communication, outreach and engagement.
  • Fan Experience: Raise the prominence of the Vanderbilt athletics brand and deepen our community impact by delivering an engaging fan experience. 
  • Financial Performance: Increase self-generated funding by creating revenue streams and improving existing ones.

Lee called the athletics strategic plan "a living document," and "just the beginning" of progress in Vanderbilt athletics. She expects other announcements later this year, but did not provide specifics.

Turner was hired as athletics director in February 2019 to create and implement the athletics strategic and master facility plans. He was forced to resign a month ago, just as the athletics strategic plan was getting ready for release.

Turner left amid accusations of over-spending, including his use of multiple consulting firms. He used the Deloitte firm to create the athletics strategic plan. Perkins and Will conducted the audit of facilities, which is part of the athletics strategic plan.

“Our vision for athletics will allow us to grow forward as a community and focus on making the Vanderbilt Way come alive in all we do,” Lee said in the release. “We’ve charted a new course that embodies the university’s shared commitment to collaboration and excellence, reflecting input from our campus community and our dedicated Commodore Nation.

"Today, we are taking the first of many essential steps toward a brighter future.”

Reach Adam Sparks at and on Twitter @AdamSparks.