After months of speculation, the search is over: Nina King will become Duke’s next athletic director and the sporting world is loving it.
King, who has been with the university since 2008 and is 42 years old, represents both a commitment to Duke’s current ways and an important influx of young leadership to the athletic department—a quality that will be highly valued as she steps into 70-year old Kevin White’s role in September and will likely be tasked with the eventual replacement of legendary men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski in her time at the helm.
King is not only the first woman and person of color to be named Duke’s athletic director, but also the sixth female and third Black woman to be a Power 5 athletic director as well as just the third female ACC athletic director. She may not yet be a household name to the casual watcher, but her roots and impact throughout the broader world of collegiate athletics already run deep. That has never been more evident than in the wake of Wednesday afternoon’s surprise announcement, as King’s friends, colleagues and rivals alike took to social media to congratulate Duke’s new athletic director and to praise the school on a true slam dunk of a hire.
Carla Williams, Director of Athletics at Virginia:
Heather Lyke, Director of Athletics at Pittsburgh:
Candice Storey Lee, Director of Athletics at Vanderbilt:
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Allen Greene, Director of Athletics at Auburn:
Gene Smith, Director of Athletics at Ohio State:
Martin Jarmond, Director of Athletics at UCLA:
Mike Cragg, Director of Athletics at St. John's:
Bubba Cunningham, Director of Athletics at North Carolina:
Danny White, Director of Athletics at Tennessee and son of retiring Duke athletic director Kevin White:
Holly Rowe, sideline reporter at ESPN:
Hannah Storm, award-winning journalist, author and anchor at ESPN:
Andy Katz, college basketball analyst at the Big Ten Network and correspondent for NCAA.com:
Billy King, former general manager of the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA and Duke men's basketball alum: