Keli Cunningham is responsible for assisting the Director of Athletics in the daily operations of the administration and management of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Cunningham serves as the primary liaison to the University’s central administration and manages the human resources functions of the athletics department in addition to providing oversight of the Athletic Compliance unit, serving as the sport administrator for women’s soccer and assisting the Director of Athletics in the management of the football program.
In December of 2014, President E. Gordon Gee appointed Cunningham the school’s interim Director of Athletics as she became the first female to lead the University’s athletic department. She served in that capacity until February, 2015.
A native of Petersburg, W.Va., Cunningham came to West Virginia in 2010 as Associate Athletic Director for Governance and Compliance from the University of Maryland, where she joined the compliance staff in 2004 as Compliance Coordinator and was named Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance in 2005. While at Maryland, Cunningham worked in the day-to-day operations to ensure compliance for the athletic department and more than 700 student-athletes in 27 varsity sports programs. She served as the sport administrator for women’s tennis and competitive cheer providing oversight in budget planning, personnel and facility operations.
Previously, Cunningham served as Compliance Assistant at the BIG EAST Conference, where she assisted in the review of institutional compliance audits and processing of all conference and NCAA waivers and violations. She worked with conference staff to coordinate events and served as oversight to the student-athlete advisory committee.
Cunningham has been involved in several national, conference and University committees over the years, including the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC) Education Committee, the NAAC Reasonable Standards Committee, the Atlantic Coast Conference Committee on Constitution and Bylaws, the BIG EAST Conference Sport and Championship Committee for Men’s and Women’s Tennis, Big 12 Bylaw Committee, and the WVU Office of the President’s Social Justice Committee. She is currently serving on the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee, the NAAC Professional Development Committee, and the WVU College of Physical Activity and Social Sciences Advisory Committee.
In 2016, Cunningham was recognized by College AD's NEXT UP series and selected as part of the SportsBusiness Journal's Game Changers program.
Cunningham is a graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in sport management.