Sports Lawyer Thomas Samuel Promoted to Deputy Commissioner of the Southland Conference

May 19, 2023

Thomas Samuel has been promoted to Deputy Commissioner of the Southland Conference after serving as Senior Associate Commissioner for Compliance Services since 2018.

“In the world of college athletics, we have been so fortunate to already have a diligent leader on our outstanding staff in Thomas,” said Southland Conference Commissioner Chris Grant. “Thomas has done so much for the conference office already in the last six years by demonstrating his knowledge and leadership as our chief compliance officer. He will continue to leave an everlasting mark as our Deputy Commissioner and assist in taking the Southland to continued new heights.”

Samuel has been the chief compliance officer for the conference since 2017 while also serving in various capacities in the NCAA Governance structure. He is the Southland Conference representative on the Division I Council, having served in that capacity since July 2021. In addition, he is currently serving on the NCAA Legislative Committee and is wrapping up a four-year appointment on the NCAA Interpretations Committee. Samuel was also selected to the 2022-23 NCAA Pathway Program, the yearlong initiative designed to prepare senior-level athletics administrators for the next career step as directors of athletics or conference commissioners.

“The Southland Conference is special to me,” said Samuel. “I grew up in the footprint and I have always felt connected to our great institutions, administrators, and student-athletes. I’m humbled and honored to continue my work with the Southland and commissioner Chris Grant.”

Samuel oversees all compliance services, including acting as liaison to campus compliance contacts and NCAA Academic and Membership Affairs staff. He also oversees the National Letter of Intent program and coaches’ certification program for the Southland.

Samuel joined the conference in 2016 after serving as Director of Athletics Compliance at Texas State University. He had previously served as Athletics Compliance Coordinator for the Bobcats since 2013.

Prior to his time in San Marcos, Samuel was a Compliance Intern at Arkansas State University and served as Assistant Athletic Communications Director at Vanderbilt University between 2005 and 2010.

Samuel received his bachelor’s degree in communication and professional writing from Centenary College in 1997, his master’s in sports management from Middle Tennessee State University in 2010 and a juris doctorate degree from the University of Memphis in 2013.

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