Big changes ahead in Samford University leadership—4 key players that are stepping up to the plate

Samford University leadership
Meet the four examples of exemplary leadership. (Samford University)

It’s a new era for Samford University leadership. With the recent inauguration of President Beck Taylor and announcements of retirement from a few executive team members, we’re excited to welcome in the new faces of Samford’s executive team.

The next generation of Samford

14E77183 BBAA 40FD 8406 D3FE27571356 edited Big changes ahead in Samford University leadership—4 key players that are stepping up to the plate
Samford University’s Harwell Goodwin Davis Library. (Jon Eastwood / Bham Now)

Homewood’s own Samford University is home to almost 6,000 students, most of which are out of state. While we love to show Samford students what Birmingham’s all about, we can’t forget about the faces that make it happen.

After beloved president, Andrew Westmoreland, announced his retirement taking place after the 2020-2021 school year, Samford University leadership under President Beck Taylor began. When a few members of the leadership team announced their retirements after long stints at the university, it was time to announce some key players that will be stepping up to the plate.

These transitions will be taking place July 1—not too long in the distant future.

Martin Newton, head of athletics

Samford University leadership
Martin Newton, director of athletics. (Samford University)

Newton has served Samford University for over 11 years, overseeing the Athletic department and previously reporting to Buck Brock in the Division of Financial Affairs. We’re thrilled to announce that he is now reporting directly to President Beck Taylor and will be joining the Samford University leadership team.

Throughout his time at Samford, he has led the Bulldogs to multiple championships, including 11 Southern Conference regular season and tournament titles in 2021, while also ranking 3rd in the nation for Graduate Success Rates in the NCAA Division I level.

He has a deep appreciation for the school and how it has helped him grow over the past decade. His new supervisor, Taylor, gave him a warm welcome to the team:

“In my first months at Samford, I’ve grown in my appreciation for Martin Newton’s steady leadership in athletics. He and I share a vision for the Bulldogs that takes our programs to new and exciting heights. Samford’s athletics programs will continue to be important to the success of the entire university.”

-Beck Taylor, President, Samford University

Betsy Holloway, incoming Vice President of University Advancement

Samford University leadership
From marketing to university advancement—she deserves an applause. (Samford University)

Betsy Holloway, vice president of the Division of Marketing and Communication and the university’s chief marketing officer, will transition to the role of vice president of university advancement. She will be stepping into the role of Randy Pittman, who will be retiring in June.

Before she assumed the university-wide marketing position, Holloway served as marketing faculty in the Brock School of Business. President Taylor has known Holloway for over 16 years and had positive things to say about her leadership abilities.

“I’ve known Betsy Holloway for nearly 16 years, and I’ve watched her success at Samford with excitement and enthusiasm. Her leadership has transformed Samford’s marketing and communications in recent years, and I know she’ll bring that same focus to her new role which also includes cultivating important external relationships to sustain and advance Samford’s mission.”

-Beck Taylor, President, Samford University

Jason Black, incoming vice president for enrollment management

Samford University leadership
Excited to see Black step into a newly created role. (Samford University)

Jason Black, current assistant vice president for enrollment management, is stepping into a new role created just for him. Meet the new vice president for enrollment management. This role would separate the current Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management into two divisions and place Black in charge of the Division of Enrollment Management.

Phil Kimrey, vice president for student affairs, will oversee the Division of Student Affairs. This will allow for Black to focus on enrollment-specific needs.

Under Black’s leadership, the Student Financial Services and Samford’s One Stop office will move from Business and Financial Affairs to the Division of Enrollment Management so that the four year transition from enrollment to graduation will be seamless. The university hopes that this will ultimately lead to graduate enrollment support and increased retention rates.

“Jason Black is known across higher education as an achiever. To boast 13 consecutive years of enrollment growth is almost unheard of in today’s higher education marketplace. Jason’s unusual combination of gifts that combine intelligence, work ethic, and a heart for all things Samford, will make him quite successful in his new role, and I’m optimistic about the progress Samford will make under his capable leadership.”

-Beck Taylor, President, Samford University

Colin Coyne, incoming vice president for finance, business affairs and strategy

Samford University leadership
With a background in both high-level corporate and non-profit companies, Coyne is the man for the job. (Samford University)

Colin Coyne has just been announced as the vice president for finance, business affairs and strategy from his previous position of chief strategy officer. This is a new position that will continue to lead strategy for the university while also taking on some of the finance and business affairs.

After Buck Brock announced his retirement in January, it was natural for Coyne to step up and take on a new title. He’s trusted by many in Samford University leadership and is known for his loyalty.

“People who work with Colin Coyne know several things. He’s smart – there are few topics in higher education about which Colin doesn’t command some level of mastery. He’s interested in searching out the best ideas and solutions, no matter how complex the challenges. And he’s loyal – he will support his team unwaveringly”

-Beck Taylor, President, Samford University

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Olivia Moses
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