George Mason athletic director named CEO of NFL Alumni, to leave in October

The athletic director of George Mason University in Northern Virginia plans to leave his current role to head the oldest and most well-known retired NFL players’ organization.

Bradford Edwards, who is also an assistant vice president at the Fairfax, Virginia, school, will depart in October to become the chief operating officer at NFL Alumni. His last day in charge will be Oct. 12.

Edwards began working at the university as its fifth athletic director in 2014, after serving in the same role at Jacksonville University.

According to a news release, Edwards secured more than $42 million in revenue contracts and commitments during his time at George Mason, including the naming rights deal for EagleBank Arena, a multiyear partnership with clothing brand Adidas and a long-term sponsorship agreement with PlayFly Sports.

Kim English holds a jersey accompanied by George Mason University president Gregory Washington, left, and university vice president and director of athletics Brad Edwards, during an NCAA college basketball news conference where was introduced as the university’s new men’s basketball coach, Thursday, March 25, 2021, at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

“Brad has been a dynamic athletic director who has moved the department forward on student athletes’ sports and academic performances, as well as the level of community support Mason can now rely on,” GMU President Gregory Washington said in a statement. “NFL Alumni has reclaimed one of its stellar alumni, and we are thrilled for Brad and the NFL.”

In his eight years leading athletics, the Patriots have won 11 conference championships, and eight student athletes became Academic All-Americans. According to the release, 394 athletes were awarded the George Mason Provost Scholar Athlete Award, given to those who earned 38 credit hours and have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.75.

Edwards said that while he is excited for his new opportunity with NFL Alumni, he plans to remember his time at George Mason “with fondness.”

“I still recall the first time I walked on campus in May of 1990 as a young NFL football player to do offseason training,” Edwards said. “The growth of Mason since that time has been meteoric. I am extraordinarily grateful for the student-athletes and the many colleagues who I have had the privilege of working alongside.”

Edwards began his work in collegiate athletics following a nine-year NFL career where he played for the Washington Commanders for three seasons, including winning the 1992 Super Bowl. Now, he enters NFL Alumni following the retirement of Beasley Reece after four years in charge.

“We are very pleased to have Brad Edwards join our national office,” NFL Alumni Chairman Tracy Porter said in a statement. “He is very familiar with NFLA on both a local and national level. We look forward to continued success under his outstanding leadership.”

George Mason will announce an interim director and the search process at a later date before Edward’s departure.

Jose Umana

José Umaña is a digital editor for WTOP. He’s been working as a journalist for almost a decade, covering local news, education and sports. His work has appeared in The Prince George’s Sentinel, The Montgomery Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, PressBox and The Diamondback.

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