Ryan Bamford was named the seventh permanent University of Massachusetts Director of Athletics on March 24, 2015. In a short amount of time, it’s hard to miss the progress and growth Bamford’s presence and dedication have brought to UMass’ 650+ student-athletes, coaches and staff, in addition to the campus and Amherst communities.
On his 100th day as Director of Athletics, Bamford announced that UMass Athletics would begin covering cost of attendance for all student-athletes that receive athletic financial aid, beginning with the 2015-16 academic year. Furthering the student-athlete experience for the Minutemen and Minutewomen, a new 3,400-square foot student-athlete lounge opened in the spring of 2016 in Boyden Gymnasium. Located across from Academic Services, the study and relaxation space includes a nutrition area, table games and considerable lounge furniture.
In the spring of 2016, Ryan Bamford hired women’s basketball head coach Tory Verdi and hockey head coach Greg Carvel. Both hires were widely praised by media, fans and within the women’s college basketball and college hockey communities.
A source of pride for Bamford and the football program, future opponents now include South Carolina, Georgia and home and road games against Mississippi State and New England rivals Boston College and Connecticut. Additionally, in September 2016, UMass and the American Sports Network will begin a multi-year agreement that will annually provide live national TV, cable and digital distribution for Minutemen football games.
Prior to his arrival in Amherst, Bamford spent four seasons at Georgia Tech, including the last two as Senior Associate Director of Athletics. He was originally hired at Georgia Tech by Dan Radakovich, who became the Director of Athletics at Clemson University in 2012. At Georgia Tech, Bamford was promoted to Senior Associate Director of Athletics in June 2013 after beginning his time with the Yellow Jackets as Associate A.D. in 2011.
From August 2013-September 2014, Bamford oversaw internal and external operations. With Georgia Tech, he handled all operational aspects for football, baseball and men's basketball while also overseeing sports medicine, player performance, facilities and equipment and game operations. Bamford also played a key role with the Yellow Jackets in donor relations for fundraising scholarships, endowments and capital projects.
Each of his three Yellow Jacket sport programs were highly prominent at the national level with football being a top-10 Football Bowl Subdivision team winning the 2014 Orange Bowl, a top-25 baseball program and a renowned Atlantic Coast Conference basketball program. A primary function of Bamford's was to oversee all aspects of scheduling for ACC and non-league games including coordination with media partnerships.
Bamford spent eight-plus years, including the last five as Senior Associate Director of Athletics, at Yale. He was the sport supervisor for the football, men's basketball and fencing programs. He was also responsible for overseeing Yale's event management team, equipment operations, sports medicine and strength and conditioning, along with internal operations.
Nationally, the New Hampshire native has served on a number of NCAA and Ivy League committees including four years on the NCAA Division I Women's Lacrosse Committee, which he chaired in 2009 and 2010.
He began his college administration career at Springfield (Mass.) College. He has also served at the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), Octagon Sports Marketing, Plymouth State University and the University of New Hampshire.
A 2000 graduate of Ithaca (N.Y.) College, Bamford was a standout basketball player for the Bombers. He left Ithaca as the school's single-season and career leader in 3-point field goals, while finishing 13th on the career scoring list.
Bamford comes from a family devoted to higher education and professionalism within college athletics. His father, Steve, was the Director of Athletics at Plymouth State University for 13 years before joining the ECAC in 2000 as an assistant commissioner.