Overton Has All-Inclusive Plan as FAMU’s New AD
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer
By St. Clair Murraine
Capital Outlook staff
Milton Overton, named the new athletic director for FAMU on Monday, June 22, intends to be all-inclusive by using technology to help his decision-making about turning around the school’s athletic department.
Overton was selected from a field of three finalists just one week after they completed their final interviews for the job. He comes from the University of Alabama, where he was senior associate athletic director.
Overton, 42, has a technology background as founder of Enki System, a software solutions company that focuses on athletic academic support programs. That knowledge of technology will be one of his everyday tools on the job, Overton said just hours after being named to the FAMU job.
“When you think technology, some people think printers, fax machines (and) computers,” he said. “When I think technology, I think business intelligence, utilizing data to make sound business decisions.”
Overton begins work Aug. 3.
“He comes to us with a wealth of knowledge, best practices and a business acumen that will forge a new tomorrow for FAMU,” said FAMU president Elmira Mangum in a news release. “I am impressed with his professional narrative and the type of role model that he can be to student-athletes and the FAMU community.”
One decision that Overton has already made is he will operate much differently than Kellen Winslow, the last person to hold the position permanently. Winslow abruptly resigned in December and was replaced by Nelson Townsend, who was assigned on an interim basis.
Townsend died in January and was replaced by D’Wayne Robinson, who applied for the permanent job but wasn’t one of the three finalists.
Since last spring when Winslow was named AD, support for the school’s athletic program dwindled. FAMU alumni expressed their disgust at a town hall meeting with the manner that Winslow made decisions, especially one to suspend the golf and tennis programs.
Overton said his use of technology, including social media, will help make FAMU supporters feel included.
“Once you do that, depending on what people are saying what they are interested in, we need to start building ticket packages specifically targeted to what people are interested in,” he said. “What they want to support. That’s what business intelligence is.”
Engaging FAMU supporters will begin “in short order” to start devising a plan for turnaround the athletic department, he said.
“Once you build a plan collectively and you hear from everybody,” he said, “then you can move forward.”
Overton is inheriting an athletic department grappling with a deficit and an $8.7 million budget. He’ll also be confronted with a football stadium in need up upgrades and a poor Academic Progress Report that has put football and two other programs on NCAA sanctions.
“I see the challenges as opportunities,” Overton said. “I don’t see any issues that you don’t see at the larger level. At Alabama, you have issues and SEC schools have issues so it doesn’t really matter what your budget is. You have to execute and make sure the student-athletes have a good experience.”