Middle Tennessee State Blue Raider Athletic Association staff members

Middle Tennessee State announced new staff for the Blue Raider Athletic Association on Monday.

“I am delighted that our fans and supporters are meeting and welcoming our new Blue Raiders to the development office,” Athletics Director Massaro said in a school statement. “They are very impressive individuals during the search process. I’m confident they will do a great job connecting with our fan base.”

Four have been appointed to BRAA roles under new chief Lee DeLeon, who was appointed Deputy AD for External Operations and took over in November, replacing David Blackburn.

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Here are the new staff members.

MTSU Athletic Communications Associate AD for Development and Chief Development Officer Hans Malebranche.

Hans Malebranche

Associate DA for Development/Director of Development

Malebranche, an Illinois graduate, will oversee BRAA staff, including budget management and premium/major donor seating.

He has been AD Assistant for Development and Director of Major Gifts at the University of Louisiana since 2019.

Claire Freels

AD Assistant for Development

Freels will oversee sales and service of all premium seating areas and major giveaways and will assist Diane Turnham in overseeing women’s sports.

A resident of Murfreesboro, Freels has spent the past seven years at Vanderbilt working at the National Commodore Club, where she was named assistant athletic director.

Robert Samson

AD Assistant for Development

Sampson will lead annual giving efforts and strategies, manage volunteer fundraising, manage the BRAA database, and also manage annual donors.

The Lexington, Kentucky native served as Special Assistant to the Eastern Kentucky Athletic Director, where he focused on revenue growth across multiple verticals. He has worked at three Power Five conferences and six conferences in total.

Leigh Ann Brewton

Special Events Director

Brewton will organize, plan and execute special events, as well as premium seating efforts.

The 2016 MTSU graduate has spent the past three plus years as Director of Business and Workforce Engagement for the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon counties. She worked at the BRAA office as a student.

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