This Best of the LPJ for 2022 story was originally published on April 22, 2022.
After a nine-year stint as part of the Senior Administration within the Mississippi State Athletics Department, Ruston native Leah Beasley has accepted a job as the Executive Athletics Director over External Engagement at the University of Oklahoma.
Beasley is one of the rising young stars in the college athletics industry and has been one of the most sought-after females in the business, previously turning down offers at numerous other Power Five programs.
“Numerous times over my career, I’ve heard how special the people of Oklahoma Athletics are and how well-respected and visionary Joe Castiglione is,” said Beasley. “During this process, it took no time to realize the depth and truth of that for myself.
“I’m very excited for this incredible opportunity. There’s no doubt that Oklahoma plus Joe C. equals a huge well-renowned brand. Of course, that made this more exciting, but their people and the new opportunities – those were the deciding factors.”
In her new role within the Sooners Athletic Department, Beasley will oversee numerous areas, including Stakeholder Relations/Fan Engagement, Strategic Communications, Sooner Vision, Digital and Creative Strategy, Sooner Sports Properties (Learfield), and Ticket Operations and Sales.
She will also be heavily involved with athletics development and will be part of the leadership team that spearheads the University’s transition into the Southeastern Conference.
Beasley began her collegiate career as a softball player at Louisiana Tech, earning her bachelor’s degree in marketing in 2005 and her master’s in business administration in 2006.
Beasley then joined the Louisiana Tech Athletics Department in her full-time job as an assistant athletic director, leading the marketing, branding and game management departments at Tech – a year after finishing her bachelor’s degree.
After guiding the Tech marketing department for seven years in which time she won numerous awards for her creative marketing plans and game-day promotions, Beasley accepted a job in Starkville at an Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing and later was promoted to Associate AD and Senior Associate AD.
Most recently, Beasley served as Deputy Athletic Director for External Affairs. She oversaw Mississippi State’s five external pods of Broadcast Operations, Communications, Creative & Digital Strategy, Fan Experience/Outbound Sales and Marketing/Branding. Beasley also served as the primary sport administrator for baseball and the secondary administrator for football.
“I’m incredibly thankful for my nearly nine years at Mississippi State,” said Beasley. “The Starkville and MSU community will forever be dear to me. I’m forever grateful to AD John Cohen along with campus and athletic leadership for the wonderfully wild and fun ride.”
She will start at OU on May 11.
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