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NCAA: Livengood takes UNLV Job as New AD

December 18, 2009

TUCSON–University of Arizona athletics director Jim Livengood today was introduced at a news conference in Las Vegas as the new AD at UNLV.

Livengood, 64, has been director at Arizona through a 16-year period marked by tremendous growth in the program and widespread success by Wildcat teams. He was named AD at UA in January 1994.

“My experience in 16 years at the University of Arizona has been nothing short of phenomenal, both professionally and personally,” Livengood said. To complete a period like this, with so many high points and other dramatically difficult moments, is truly satisfying.

“I’m proud to have been a Wildcat. The hard part will be the separation between me and the hundreds of people with whom I have worked so closely at the University of Arizona,” Livengood said.

University of Arizona President Dr. Robert Shelton said, “In his 16 years at UA, Jim Livengood has done an exceptional job leading our Athletics Department. Jim has been a terrific colleague who has always been committed to doing what is right for the University of Arizona and its student-athletes. This is an exciting new opportunity for Jim, and he moves to Las Vegas with our best wishes, our profound respect, and our thanks for a job very well done.”

“With Jim’s departure, I am naming Senior Associate AD Kathleen “Rocky” LaRose as the interim Athletics Director. There is no one more highly regarded at this University, and the department will be in good hands under Rocky’s leadership while we search for a permanent replacement for Jim.

“The athletic director’s position is an extremely important one for our University. I intend to move forward with a search as soon as possible,” Shelton said.

Wildcat programs won 11 NCAA Championships during Livengood’s career at UA beginning with the 1994 softball crown and most recently with men’s and women’s swimming championships in 2008. He was named a regional AD of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 2006.

Livengood’s tenure at the UA showed he and the program were up to speed in facing numerous challenges, keeping pace nationally with the explosive growth of intercollegiate athletics and its fiscal underpinnings. The UA department of athletics enters the new decade with an annual budget of some $44 million, and throughout each of his years in Tucson the department never operated at a deficit, putting the school among a handful of model programs. The annual budget for athletics in his first year was around $18 million.

The growth of intercollegiate athletics was matched by UA in other areas as well, including key capital projects such as the Eddie Lynch Athletics Pavilion, the Richard Jefferson Gymnasium, Murphey Stadium for soccer, the Mary Roby Gymnastics Center, Hillenbrand Aquatic Center, and extensive improvements to Arizona Stadium, McKale Center and all sport venues.

Additionally, Livengood has spearheaded a project study, “Vision Arizona,” which is the school’s master plan for immediate and future facility enhancements.

Livengood’s broad-based stewardship also put considerable focus on student-athlete welfare during his tenure, with expanded services through its C.A.T.S. program, revamping of the department’s academic services unit and other personal development objectives for Wildcat student-athletes.

Livengood served under three presidents at the University of Arizona starting with Dr. Manuel Pacheco from 1994 to 1997, Dr. Peter Likins from 1997 to 2006, and current UA president Shelton from 2006 onward.

Livengood will take his fourth college athletics director’s post with the appointment at UNLV. He was AD at Washington State University from 1988 until his appointment at UA, and AD at Southern Illinois from 1985 to 1987 for a total of 25 years as the top executive of an athletics department. He began his administrative career as an associate director for development and public relations at WSU from 1980-85.

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