Mr. Drew Watson

Southeastern University

Contact Details

Southeastern University


Drew Watson became Director of Athletics at Southeastern University in 2012. 

A lifelong native of Philadelphia, he moved to Lakeland in 2011 to become the head women’s basketball coach and a year later, became the athletic director.  After serving in dual roles for the following two years, Watson stepped down from coaching after the 2013-14 season to focus his energies on leading the department. 

During his tenure as athletic director, the department has grown from nine programs and 150 student-athletes to 19 programs and over 430 student-athletes.  Watson has overseen the development of men’s and women’s cross country (2012), football (2013), women’s golf (2013), wrestling (2015), men’s and women’s track and field (2018), and beach volleyball (2019).

In 2018, the Fire baseball program became the first in school history to win a NAIA National Championship, as they swept through the World Series in their first-ever appearance.  Since qualifying for their first NAIA National Tournament in 2013 (Men’s Golf), the Fire have steadily increased their presence at the national level, appearing in a program-record 12 NAIA National Tournaments during the 2017-18 year. The Fire earned 17th place in the 2019 Learfield Cup standings, their second-straight top-20 finish and the highest ranking in school history.

Watson currently serves on The Sun Conference Executive Committee and the NAIA’s Conduct and Ethics Committee. He is also second vice president of the NAIA’s Athletic Director’s Association (ADA). Additionally, he served as chair of the NAIA task force on divisions in basketball, working for two years on the recommendation to unify the two divisions. The change was adopted in 2018 and is in its first year of implementation during the 2020-21 season.       

Watson has been named The Sun Conference Athletic Director of the Year three times, in 2013-14, 2015-16, and 2018-19. He went on to win the NAIA's Athletic Director of the Year honor for 2018-19.  

Under Watson's leadership, Southeastern won the 2018-19 Sun Conference Commissioner's Cup for the first time since joining the league in 2009.  Locally, he was honored by the Polk County All Sports Awards Committee as the Bernie Little Sports Executive of the Year in 2015.  In 2017 and 2019, he was honored as NACDA Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year, an award that goes to 28 of the nation’s top athletic administrators across all divisions of the NCAA, NAIA and junior colleges.
On campus, Watson serves on Southeastern’s COVID Response Team (CRT), which has been instrumental in guiding the University through the global pandemic. 

Watson is a graduate of Cairn University and holds an MBA from Southeastern.