Jeremiah Donati has a new job and a new addition to his wardrobe.
Donati was named the new athletic director Monday afternoon. He replaces Chris Del Conte, who accepted the same job at the University of Texas after eight years at TCU.
“He gifted me all his purple ties,” Donati said of Del Conte with a laugh, adding, “He challenged me. He tested me. He made me better.”
The 40-year-old Donati has been a part of TCU athletics since 2011 and was a TCU Frog Gift Club officer before becoming executive director of the Frog Club. In 2013 he was named associate athletic director and associate vice chancellor for athletic development. In 2016 he was named deputy AD.
And now he is the eighth AD in TCU history.
“It’s all Donati all day,” TCU Chancellor Dr. Victor J. Boschini Jr. said upon introducing Donati to the crowd in the Four Sevens Room.
“A lot has changed since I arrived here in 2011,” Donati said with a smile, looking around the room. “This room has changed.”
Donati has played a large role in the changes in the athletic department. He worked closely with Del Conte and vice chancellor for university advancement Dan Whelan. He was instrumental in the final stages of fundraising for the $164 million renovation of Amon G. Carter Stadium, along with taking the lead role in the $72 million renovation of the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena, Lupton Stadium upgrades, the Huffman Football Center, refurbishing of the Schollmaier Basketball Complex, and the new playing field and lighting at the Garvey-Rosenthal Soccer Stadium.
The three highest totals in athletic donor support in TCU history have come in the past four years under his leadership.
“This is home to me,” Donati said.
Donati inherits a program that has been a Big 12 championship contender under longtime football coach Gary Patterson and is coming off an NIT championship in the first season under men’s basketball coach Jamie Dixon, a key Del Conte hire. At the same time, the school’s baseball program has made four consecutive trips to the College World Series.
Donati addressed fundraising and renovation even as he took the podium for his new job. He spoke of the need to finish fundraising for the expansion of the east side of Amon G. Carter Stadium.
“That’s a project that goes beyond TCU football,” he said. “It is important we get that project finished on time.”
Donati was with Leigh Steinberg Sports and Entertainment as general counsel and director of player representation before coming to TCU. His past experience also includes fundraising positions with the University of Arizona Wildcat Club, Washington State University Cougar Athletic Fund and the Cal Poly University Mustang Club.
“I learned a lot from Leigh. I’m grateful for that we had together,” he said.
“Today is a great day for TCU athletics,” TCU Board of Directors Chairman Mark Johnson said. “We know that Jeremiah has the strength and determination to lead a division that not only excels on the field, but also guides our student-athletes toward reaching their full potential and becoming a force for the greater good.”
Donati said he has dreamed of this day for a long time, and that he was overcome with gratitude.
“I’ve been asked a lot the past 24 hours what’s the first thing I’m going to do as AD – besides call my mom,” he said. “I’m going to listen.”