Eddie Nuñez, who has spent the previous 14 years with LSU, most recently as the Deputy Director of Athletics, has been named as Director of Athletics for The University of New Mexico. UNM Interim President Chaouki Abdallah made the announcement Thursday.
"We had a good search process that yielded three qualified and personable candidates," Abdallah said. "We were looking for a leader who is dedicated to academic excellence, strong ethics, careful financial management and community engagement. The committee and I agreed that Eddie is the right person for this key position at UNM. Welcome to our Lobo family, Eddie."
Nuñez, 42, will be UNM's 13th Athletic Director, dating back to 1911 when Ralph L. Hutchinson was named the school's first AD. Nuñez will be just the third AD in the last 25 years, following Rudy Davalos, who served from 1992-2006, and Paul Krebs, who served from 2006 up until he announced his retirement on June 2 of this year.
"I want to thank the search committee and President Abdallah for their trust and confidence in me," Nuñez said. "It is an honor to accept the position of Director of Athletics at the University of New Mexico. With the support of this great university all the pieces are here to achieve great things. My wife Jane and our girls are looking forward to our move to New Mexico and getting to know our fellow Lobos. We can't wait to get started."
"My number one priority at UNM is always going to be the student-athlete and making sure their experience offers the support and resources they need to achieve great things on and off the field of play. We are going to bring passion, transparency and energy to everything we do here."
Since 2003, Nuñez has served in a variety of high-level administrative capacities at LSU, one of the nation's top athletic departments. Among his most recent specific duties, Nuñez has had sport oversight of LSU men's basketball and men's and women's tennis. He also has served as the department's liaison with LSU Sports Properties, the Tiger Athletic Foundation and University Licensing and Brand Management.
While he held seven positions and titles at LSU, the department has continually flourished. Under his guidance, LSU experienced of $400 million in facility renovations and construction, and Nuñez led the renegotiations of a 10-year multi-media rights agreement with Outfront Media Sports.
Additionally, he oversaw the planning and management of the LSU Athletics Strategic Plan, Marketing and Promotions, Athletic Communications, Social and Digital Media, Creative Services, Video/Network Broadcast Services and all capital projects.
"Eddie is extremely bright and very hard working. He will energize the athletic department and engage with the community," said LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva. "New Mexico has hired a rising star."
"Eddie Nunez is a terrific selection to be the next Director of Athletics at the University of New Mexico. We will miss him at LSU as he was a vital part of the athletic department here. However, he is ready for this new challenge in his professional life," said Paul Mainieri, LSU head baseball coach. "Eddie has the 'it' factor that we so often describe people in our business that are destined to be successful. He will provide strong leadership to the coaching staff, athletic support staff, and athletes at UNM."
While he has made his mark collegiately at LSU, Nuñez began his career as a collegiate administrator at Vanderbilt University, where he was the Director of Game and Event Management. Additionally, he assisted in construction and planning of numerous facility upgrades.
A former college athlete, Nuñez played four years of basketball, starting at Miami-Dade Community College before transferring to the University of Florida, playing for Billy Donovan. He then spent two seasons as a graduate assistant under Donovan at Florida before being named an administrative assistant at Marquette in the men's basketball program.
A native of Miami, Florida, Nuñez received his Associate Degree in arts and architecture from Miami-Dade Community College, his Bachelor's Degree in Sports Management and Master's Degree in Sports Administration from the University of Florida. He is married to the former Jane Hess and the couple are proud parents of two daughters, Elizabeth Kendall Nuñez (8) and Anna Caldwell Nuñez (6).