Fort Valley State University introduces Dr. Renae Myles Payne as Director of Athletics

"You cannot take things personal in this business," she said. "You must have a heart for people, specifically student-athletes."
Renae Myles Payne Fvsu Gfx
Dr. Renae Myles Payne (Photo: Fort Valley State University)

FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Dr. Renae Myles Payne has been named the new Director of Athletics for Fort Valley State University out of a pool of 94 candidates.

Myles Payne, who has more than 25 years of athletic leadership experience at the Division I and II levels with expertise in financial administration, is thrilled to join Fort Valley State University after leading the sports administrators group responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the Miami Hurricanes’ 18 varsity sports in her previous role.

“This is a place that builds pros,” she said. “And not just pros in sports, but pros in life, so that was the draw for me.”

Her major goal for the athletic department is to increase scholarships and, in turn, increase enrollment.

“Scholarships, scholarships, scholarships, scholarships is what we’ll be touting a lot to make sure that it gets raised,” she said. “So we can have more student-athletes. That increases enrollment. That does a whole lot of things for the university, not just help athletics.”

Myles Payne is the second current female athletic director in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

“We can do the job,” she said. “We’re built to do the job. We’re moms. We’re sisters. wives, so we know what it’s like to do multiple things with less, and so that’s what we’re going to do here. I’m going to do exactly that. I know what the challenges are. I wasn’t afraid of them.”

Myles Payne has advice for young women looking to follow in her footsteps.

“You must number one, have some thick skin,” she said. “You cannot take things personal in this business. You must have a heart for people, specifically student-athletes. You must care about the plight of that group of people, and then, lastly, you must care about the industry as a whole., so what I’m telling young women that see me say, mimic what you see the right people doing, and do the right thing at all times, even when people aren’t looking.”

In addition to her new role as FVSU’s Director of Athletics, Myles Payne is an active leader on the national scene. She is set to become the president of the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association this summer.

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