After reviewing 94 candidates, Fort Valley State University has found its new director of athletics.

Effective last week, Dr. Renae Myles Payne assumed the position, bringing her expertise of more than 25 years in intercollegiate athletics to the university.

“Dr. Myles Payne’s exceptional leadership qualities and extensive experience in collegiate athletics make her the ideal candidate for this position,” said FVSU President Paul Jones, Ph.D.

Prior to her new role as athletic director at FVSU, Dr. Myles Payne served as the senior associate athletic director for administration and chief diversity officer at the University of Miami (UM). At UM, she led the sports administrators group responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the Hurricanes 18 varsity sports.

As FVSU’s new athletic director, Dr. Myles Payne will oversee the administration, development, and planning for advancing the University’s NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs. FVSU is a part of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) East Division, making Dr. Myles Payne the second current female athletic director in the SIAC.

She told WMGT that 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 received her M.Ed. in Sports Administration from Northwestern State University of Louisiana and her Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. She and her husband, Marcus Payne, have two adult daughters, Brianna and Ariana. She is a native of Clarksdale, Mississippi, and a 1997 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where she competed in track and field.