A U-M alumnus who played football under Bo Schembechler and has served as a regent, Brandon, 57, currently is chairman and chief executive officer of Ann Arbor-based Domino’s Pizza Inc.
“With his widely acclaimed leadership skills, business acumen, long-term involvement with the university and personal knowledge of the challenges and rewards of being a student athlete, David Brandon is an ideal candidate for athletic director,” says President Mary Sue Coleman. “I am confident that he will carry on the tradition of excellence in U-M athletics as we enter a new era.”
Coleman directed the search personally with the support of a small advisory group. The five-year appointment will be effective March 8.
“It is my distinct honor and privilege to have this opportunity to serve the university in yet another way,” Brandon says. “My participation as a student-athlete at U-M has made a profound impact on my life and career, and I fully understand and respect the important role our athletic programs play in helping to shape the culture and image of our university community.”
The university began its search for a new athletic director following the announcement that Bill Martin will retire in September after 10 years with U-M. With the appointment of a new athletic director, Martin will serve as a special adviser to Coleman until his retirement.
Brandon became chairman and chief executive officer of Domino’s in March 1999. In 2009 Domino’s had nearly 9,000 franchised and company-owned stores in the United States and more than 65 countries, with global retail sales of over $5.5 billion.
Formerly, he served as chairman, president and CEO of Valassis Communications Inc. of Livonia. In Brandon’s 20 years at the marketing and sales promotion firm, the company grew from a family-owned business with 75 employees and $30 million in sales to a publicly traded industry leader with 1,300 employees and a total enterprise value exceeding $2 billion.
Brandon, his wife, Jan, and former head football coach Lloyd Carr and his wife, Laurie, also head the fund-raising campaign for the U-M C.S. Mott Children’s and Women’s Hospital Replacement Project. The $754 million facility will total 1.1 million gross square feet when it opens in 2011.
Brandon received a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and a teaching certificate from U-M in 1974, and was a member of three Big Ten Championship football teams under Schembechler. Brandon also has honorary doctoral degrees from Walsh College, Schoolcraft College, Lawrence Technological University, Cleary College, Albion College and Central Michigan University, where he served as a trustee from 1994-98.
He was elected to the Board of Regents in 1998 and served one eight-year term. In 2007 he received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from the U-M Alumni Association. In 2008 he received the Bennie Oosterbaan Award for service, dedication and leadership from the Bob Ufer Quarterback Club. Later that year Brandon was honored as national CEO Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.
Brandon will continue to serve as non-executive chairman at Domino’s, a role that includes serving on the board of directors but does not require day-to-day responsibilities with the company.
Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, on her greatest passion: “Working to improve the physical and virtual accessibility to all of our community, regardless of individual physical or mental challenges.”