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Mark Alnutt named UB athletic director

UB made the announcement 42 days into search process

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The University at Buffalo has its new head of athletics.

UB announced on March 21 that Mark Alnutt, a former deputy director of athletics at the University at Memphis, would be taking over the position with a start date of April 11. The decision came from the search committee established by the president’s office on Feb.7 to find someone for the position. Interim Athletic Director Kathy Twist will continue to serve until Alnutt starts full time.

Twist did not put her name forward for the position during the search.

“The positive trajectory of this athletics program is second to none as evidenced by the recent on-the-court successes of our men's and women's basketball programs," Alnutt said at the announcement press conference. "I look forward to engaging our university, the great community of the Buffalo metropolitan area and our prideful alumni to build upon the foundation.”

Alnutt joins after helping to oversee the $40 million athletics budget and 380 student-athletes in Memphis. UB spent $35 million on athletics in 2017. Alnutt is the fourth AD since 2010, with no AD staying longer than three years since the new decade.

“Mark is driven, innovative and thoughtful,” said UB President Satish Tripathi at the press conference. “I have every confidence he will help the UB Athletics program realize its full potential, competing with the very best in the nation.”

This comes two months after former AD Allen Greene resigned to take up the same position for Auburn University. Greene’s tenure saw UB Athletics win multiple Mid-American Conference championships, announce the Murchie Family Fieldhouse and cut four Division-I teams.

Alnutt will take over as Division-I athletics continue to have success this season with recent NCAA Tournament wins from both basketball teams, a program first for both teams. White rebranded UB Athletics during his tenure and was in charge when the school won both its first men’s and women’s basketball MAC championships. Greene helped allocate $18 million for the Murchie Family Fieldhouse. Twist was able to re-sign men’s basketball head coach Nate Oats to an extension till 2023 during her month and a half in the role.

“Our committee was thoroughly impressed with Mark's comprehensive view of intercollegiate athletics, his experience and his leadership within Division-I athletics," said co-chair on the search committee, UB Chief of Staff Beth Del Genio.

Alnutt, a Kansas City native, is a former Division-I football player for the University of Missouri where he played linebacker and tight-end. Alnutt has over 15 years experience in helping to oversee Division-I sport teams, having once raised $5 million dollars from the city of Memphis to pay for renovations for Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Alnutt was elected chair of the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee during his time in Memphis.

“Throughout this national search, he demonstrated a keen understanding of the significant role a competitive athletics program plays in the overall success of a public institution of higher education,” Tripathi said. “And a clear commitment to ensuring the finest student-athlete experience through the core values of academic and competitive achievement.”

The search process listed experience in NCAA Division-I sports, marketing, public relations, finances, commitment to diversity, expectation of competitive success and strong communication skills as being required skills for the role.

Alnutt will take over with four Division-I teams still in active competition for the 2017-18 seasons.

Thomas Zafonte is the senior sports editor and can be reached at thomas.zafonte@ubspectrum.com and @Thomas_Spectrum.Sports Desk can be reached at: sports@ubspectrum.com


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