Candice Storey Lee
Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs and Athletic Director
Candice Storey Lee, a native of Madison, Alabama, and former student-athlete at Vanderbilt, is the vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletic director.
Lee is Vanderbilt’s first female athletic director and the first African American woman to head an SEC athletics program. Lee has served as an integral leader at the university and in athletics for almost 20 years, most recently serving as deputy director of the program, a role she was appointed to in 2016. She has also served as the department’s senior woman administrator since 2004.
In addition to her responsibilities of overseeing the day-to-day operations of the athletics department, she is also the sport administrator for the football and women’s basketball programs.
In 2019, Sports Business Journal named Lee to its “Power Players: College Sports” list, which recognizes individuals who have “distinguished themselves as some of the best thinkers, problem-solvers and dealmakers in college sports and they will play a distinctly important role in its future.” In 2018, Adidas named Lee to its prestigious “NEXT UP” class, comprising “senior-level administrators, handpicked by some of the most respected athletic directors in the industry, who are believed to be ready to take the next step as athletic directors in their own right.”
Along with her previous roles as associate vice chancellor and deputy athletic director, Lee served as the department’s senior woman administrator from 2004-20. She oversaw the day-to-day operations of the athletics department and served as the sport administrator for the football and women’s basketball programs. Lee formerly served as a member of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Rules Committee, is the former chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse Committee and a former chair of the SEC Senior Woman Administrators.
In September 2019, Lee was named a 2019-20 fellow of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association’s Pressnell Executive Leadership Institute. She is a member of the 2012 Class of Leadership Nashville, the 2012 Vanderbilt Leadership Academy, the YWCA of Middle Tennessee Board of Directors and the SEC Executive Committee.
As a captain and four-year letter winner for Vanderbilt’s women’s basketball team, Lee graduated with a bachelor of science degree in human and organizational development in 2000. She also received her master’s degree in counseling from Vanderbilt in 2002, and in 2012, Lee earned her doctorate from Vanderbilt in higher education administration.
Lee has been instrumental in Vanderbilt Athletics’ success in proving that excellent academics and excellent athletics can coexist. In 2019, Vanderbilt finished with an overall NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 97, the highest of any SEC program for the fifth straight year. During the 2019-20 season, student-athletes also exceeded a 3.0 grade-point average for the 15th straight year. The NCAA Academic Progress Rates for the 2018-19 academic year showed seven of Vanderbilt’s varsity programs earning perfect — and nation-leading — scores.
Since 2007, Vanderbilt’s student-athletes have won five national championships, in baseball (two), women’s bowling (two) and women’s tennis. Vanderbilt has also won over two dozen league titles and tournaments, including the Southeastern Conference baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer and women’s tennis championships, the Southland Conference bowling championship and the American Lacrosse Conference title. The Vanderbilt football team has played in six bowl games in recent years, breaking a 26-year drought in 2008.
She is married to Sean, who is the executive director of a Middle Tennessee housing authority.