Director of Athletics Joe Alleva was announced as Louisiana State University's new athletic director Friday in a press conference on the Baton Rouge campus.
Alleva, who had spent 32 years at Duke and the last 10 at the helm of the Department of Athletics, will replace outgoing LSU Athletics Director Skip Bertman.
"After deliberating with my family and several colleagues here at Duke, I have decided to accept the Director of Athletics position at Louisiana State University," Alleva said in a statement. "For over 30 years, I have committed myself to Duke University, and for the past 10, I have been fortunate to lead one of the nation's best Departments of Athletics.
"I am appreciative of my time at Duke, and even more grateful for the relationships I have forged while working here.... I hope that Duke continues to enjoy the success it has maintained for so many years."
Alleva's departure comes only eight months after President Richard Brodhead reappointed him to his position at Duke, despite a sometimes controversial tenure.
The reappointment resulted from an extensive review conducted by a nine-person committee comprised of Trustees, alumni and faculty. The review also included feedback from 150 people on Alleva's performance.
In light of the athletic department's handling of the 2006 Duke lacrosse case, a 2005 steroid scandal involving the baseball team and the exit of former women's basketball Gail Goestenkors to Texas, Alleva's review attracted a high level of scrutiny both within and outside the Duke community.
But Brodhead's August 7 reaffirmation of confidence in Alleva, as with all reappointments of Duke's top administrators, came with a contract extension.
In a statement released Friday, the president expressed his thanks for Alleva's service to the University.
"I am grateful to Joe Alleva," Brodhead said. "Duke athletics sets an example of success and integrity of the highest order, and Joe has played a key role in achieving these results. I know there are very few opportunities that could lure him away from Duke. Joe and his family have our appreciation for their many contributions to the Duke community, and our best wishes for success at LSU."
In his tenure as Duke's athletic director, Alleva oversaw six national and 44 ACC championships-the second-most of any conference program-as well as eight top-25 Directors' Cup finishes. During the same period, Duke boasted one of the nation's top graduation rates, at 91 percent, and has had more members on the ACC honor roll than any other conference school for 20 consecutive years.
Under Alleva's stewardship, Duke brought in nearly $200 million in gifts and funded more than $85 million in new facilities and renovations. Contributions from the Iron Dukes, the department's booster club, have increased by 50 percent since 2000, a figure that includes a record-setting 2007 fiscal year in which $11 million was raised.
"Joe Alleva brings a wealth of experience and accomplishment to LSU," LSU System President John Lombardi said. "I'm confident we've found a new leader for LSU athletics who exemplifies the vision and integrity needed to lead our sports programs to new heights, a champion of student athletes who believes in the highest standards of competition both on the field and in the classroom."
No interim athletic director had been named as of Sunday, and John Burness, senior vice president for government affairs and public relations said he expected to have a better idea Monday of when such an announcement would be made.
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