In a unanimous vote, the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission voted to approve the hire of Don Staley as the President & CEO of Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports. Staley returns to the organization where he once served as the executive director of sports and after a three-year stint in the same role for the City of Foley.
While Don Staley is the newest hire for Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports, he is no stranger to the company. Staley worked as the Executive Director of Sports for Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports between 2010 and 2014. In this time, he developed a sports foundation from start up to merger with the Tuscaloosa Convention and Visitors Bureau that created the Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports Commission.
Besides leading the day-to-day operations, Staley will be charged with helping to create an experience-based economy for Tuscaloosa as part of Mayor Walt Maddox’s four-year plan for the future. Board chairwoman Lesley Bruinton said Staley is an excellent choice.
“Don’s vision for selling Tuscaloosa, his experience in sports tourism and as Division 1 soccer coach, made him the top contender for the job,” said Bruinton. “I am excited to have him to return to this organization and this community to promote Tuscaloosa.”
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Staley earned his bachelor’s degree in General Studies – Sports Management in 1992. After beginning his career as the head soccer coach at Radford University, Staley moved to Tuscaloosa in 1994 to become the Head Soccer Coach at the University of Alabama. While at Alabama, Staley became the 5th coach in NCAA soccer history to reach the 300-win mark. Because of his success on the pitch, Staley earned SEC Coach of the Year twice, as well as twice more in a different league.
The opportunity to return to Tuscaloosa was an offer Staley couldn’t refuse.
In a meeting with the staff, Staley mentioned “I’m thrilled to return home to lead this outstanding organization” and that “Tuscaloosa is a dynamic and vibrant community that once you take it in, it never leaves your heart.”
Staley will start July 10th.