William & Mary’s new Athletics Director Samantha K. Huge will be featured during William & Mary Weekend in New York City on May 20. Huge is the first woman to hold the position at the university since the job was combined in the 1980s to cover both men’s and women’s sports. Join us for Breakfast of Champions: Conversation with New W&M Athletic Director, Samantha K. Huge from 9:30-11 a.m. Hear how Huge will set the course for the future of William & Mary Athletics, and answer questions about how she will provide “a championship experience for every student-athlete and every fan.”
To learn more about Huge, read the article below by Jim Ducibella of W&M News.
During the summers and holidays she spent in Northern Virginia, Samantha Huge drank in all of the wisdom, hope and enthusiasm offered by her grandmother, Daniela Brabner-Smith.
“She always encouraged me to do my best, but also that no door was closed to me,” Huge recalled. “I could be and do whatever I wanted to be or do. I know that sounds trite and a lot of people say that, but it’s true.”
One of her career aspirations, she said, was to become director of athletics at William & Mary, a university and a location she knew well on several different levels. That goal officially became reality on Wednesday when she was introduced as the successor for retiring Athletics Director Terry Driscoll.
“I spent a lot of time with my grandmother; she was a spitfire who also had the ability to put people immediately at ease,” said Huge, whose grandmother passed away in 2012. “When I got the job, I honestly wanted to pick up the phone and call her; that’s how much she meant to my life.”
The rise of Huge — pronounced Hue-gee — to command of a $24 million department with a staff of 120 is a story of familial support, selfless love and a dogged determination to improve and grow.
And, perhaps, a touch of fate.
Huge’s mother died when she was just a child. Her father remarried, and his wife adopted the children from the first marriage.
“We are one big, beautiful blended family,” Huge said.
Athletics played a large part of the family fabric. Her father played basketball for Florida State. Her brother, Chris ’84, played football for the Tribe from 1981-83. Another brother ran track at Yale and a third, basketball at Illinois. Samantha played varsity basketball at Gordon College in Massachusetts. And, Huge said, although her mother never played competitive sports, she might be the best athlete in the family.
“She does Pilates three times a week, and puts us all to shame when we go skiing,” she said.
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