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Joseph F. Rice School of Law

Q&A with Bryan Blair '10

Where do you call home? 

Toledo, Ohio. I’m currently working at the University of Toledo as the Vice President & Director of Athletics.  

What drew you to athletics? 

Growing up in South Carolina, on Friday or Saturday night, you go to any college or high school stadium, and you see an entire town cheering on their team, then Sunday morning they go to separate churches. That’s the power of sport: it brings people together in a way that little else can.   

What sparked your interest in legal matters? 

I went to Wofford for undergrad, and they have a program called Interim where you study something nontraditional for a month for a 3-hour credit. I got the chance to do the pre-law course and learned about different legal careers and what you can do with a law degree.  

How did you decide on South Carolina Law? 

I applied to a handful of law schools. As a state institution with an SEC athletics program, South Carolina gave me the chance to be at a big school after a smaller liberal arts school, and it was in my home state – it just made a lot of sense. It ended up being a great decision for me.  

How did your time at South Carolina Law impact you? 

I did not come from a family with any lawyers, so I didn’t know what to expect from law school, but it was perfect for me. No other school would have better prepared me for where I am now and where I want to go than the University of South Carolina.  

Why did you decide to pursue a more nontraditional path with your J.D.? 

I always thought about business, but then I started thinking about how I could combine that love with my love of sports. I’d been an athlete all my life and I missed it when I stopped playing. I think I saw the ability early on to bring those skills together: the opportunity to serve people in higher education, but then also combine business, legal savvy, and entrepreneurial skills within the business side of college athletics. 

What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment since graduating law school? 

I’m in a position to offer student athletes scholarships, many who would not otherwise be able to attend or afford college. My mom was my middle school principal – a lifetime educator – my grandma was an educator, my dad even early on was an educator. They taught me education is a tool for advancement and elevation, so to give other students those opportunities, that’s pretty special. I don’t take that for granted.  

Do you have any final thoughts you’d like to share? 

I’m really proud to be a USC Law grad. I had no idea what I was getting into. What I got was lifelong friends and connections. I got to figure out my future, even when my path was nontraditional. I’m able to live a life full of passion and happiness and provide for my family. I try to offer future generations the same opportunity. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.