Veteran sports executive Dr. David Paitson named Columbus Fury CEO

COLUMBUS, OH – The Columbus Fury named sports industry veteran and former Columbus Blue Jackets senior executive Dr. David Paitson as its Chief Executive Officer on Thursday, bringing the accomplished sports executive back to Columbus to oversee the establishment of the new Pro Volleyball Federation franchise.

Dr. Paitson will oversee all aspects of the Fury’s business and volleyball operations, marking the seventh start-up he has been a part of in the sports space. Dr. Paitson, who served as both Vice President of Marketing and Vice President of Ticket Sales during his more than ten years with the Blue Jackets, was also the President and General Manager of the beloved Columbus Chill.

“I am honored and excited to be able to return to Columbus and lead the Columbus Fury,” Dr. Paitson stated. “The challenge of starting a new franchise in such a groundbreaking league excites me, and while there is a lot to accomplish before our first serve takes place next February, we will build an organization and a team that the community will come to love. I saw first-hand how this community took to the sport of hockey when it was in its infancy, and I fully expect the same to happen with women’s professional volleyball. Echoing the thoughts of Pro Volleyball Federation founder Dave Whinham, this is the exact right thing at the exact right time.”

Pro Volleyball Federation is real pro volleyball and is the premier women’s professional volleyball league in North America, featuring many of America’s greatest players and coaches. The league presents a new horizon for aspiring professional volleyball stars who, until now, have not had a real opportunity to play professional volleyball at its highest level in the United States.

A versatile leader within the sports space with expertise and successful experience in the areas of marketing, communications, sales, and operations, Dr. Paitson’s career includes a rare combination of meaningful experience in major/minor league sports, intercollegiate athletics, and academics. He most recently held roles on the collegiate side of sports and in academia, serving as an Associate Athletic Director at Sam Houston State and Director of Athletics at Lake Superior State University before becoming a professor of sports management, most recently at the University of Indianapolis.

“The Columbus Fury are fortunate to have Dr. Paitson leading the organization,” said Whinham. “I have known and worked with Dr. Paitson for many years, and his achievements in Columbus have been legendary. He literally wrote the book on how to build a successful professional sports organization. There is no better individual to take the reins and guide the Fury to success, and I am happy and proud that Dr. Paitson is now part of Pro Volleyball Federation.”

A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Dr. Paitson was a key contributor in the process that brought the Blue Jackets to Columbus as an expansion NHL franchise. Prior to that he helped launch hockey in Columbus via the Columbus Chill, one of the most successful teams in minor league sports history. Under his watch, the Chill set a minor league hockey record with 83 consecutive sellouts. Dr. Paitson also built, programmed, and operated the Chiller Dublin and Chiller Easton, bringing hockey to the masses in Central Ohio and opening the door to the incredible participation in the sport of hockey that exists today.

Dr. Paitson is also a published author, penning with co-author Craig Merz Chill Factor: How a Minor-League Hockey Team Changed a City Forever, which recalled the wild ride that was the Columbus Chill, from the early formation of the minor-league franchise through the decision to rattle the status quo by going to the edge and beyond with a marketing and promotional plan that was both edgy and controversial.

The Columbus Fury begin play at Nationwide Arena in February 2024, the inaugural season of Pro Volleyball Federation.




Founded by Jeff and Beth Gilger, the Columbus Fury is first major women’s professional sports team in Columbus. The Fury begin play in February 2024, and will play a 24-match schedule, with 12 regular season home matches at Nationwide Arena. Fans can reserve their season tickets by visiting For more information about the Columbus Fury, including how you can play a role in building Columbus’ next major league sports franchise, visit contact


Pro Volleyball Federation is REAL pro volleyball and the premier women’s professional volleyball league in North America. Pro Volleyball Federation will begin play in February 2024 with world class players and coaches, including some of America’s greatest volleyball players and elite players from around the world. Our entire focus is on ensuring that our level and quality of play, our treatment of players, the quality of our event presentations, and our day-to-day fan experience is world class and the very best offered in North America. For more information, visit


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