Malcolm Turner
Vanderbilt athletic director Malcolm Turner has resigned, the university announced Tuesday. (Photo: Vanderbilt University)

Malcolm Turner has resigned as Vanderbilt athletics director after just over one year on the job, the university announced Tuesday. Candice Storey Lee, formerly the associate vice chancellor and deputy athletic director, will take over as interim athletic director.

Lee becomes the SEC’s first female athletic director.

Turner, meanwhile, leaves West End amid turmoil for the department’s two biggest money-makers. 


Vanderbilt’s football team went 3-9 last season and has been in need of stadium upgrades for years, and the men’s basketball program has lost 26 straight SEC games. Turner fired former men’s basketball coach Bryce Drew last March in one of his first major moves, hiring Jerry Stackhouse.

“In a year of change and transition, it’s been a privilege to be a Commodore and witness firsthand the transformative power of the intersection of higher education and athletics. Vanderbilt Athletics has accomplished a great deal during my time at Vanderbilt, and the university’s athletics program and student-athletes are poised for future success,” Turner said in a statement. “However, at the onset of this next critical phase of key Athletics initiatives and after considering certain family commitments important to me, I have elected to pursue new opportunities. I fully support what will surely be an exciting next chapter for Vanderbilt Athletics and wish the entire Vanderbilt family the very best going forward.”

Turner was the president of the NBA G League before joining Vanderbilt. Nicholas S. Zeppos, Vanderbilt’s chancellor when Turner was hired, stepped down last August. Susan Wente took over as the interim chancellor, and Vanderbilt hired University of Chicago provost Daniel Diermmeier to assume the post effective July 2020.

“Candice embodies the Vanderbilt Way, which is our commitment to ensuring that student-athletes excel on the field of play, academically and in life,” Wente said. “Candice is a trailblazer. Her unparalleled work ethic, energy and vision, and steadfast commitment to the Commodore family, will only build on our momentum.”


ByRobbie Weinstein