Mark Alnutt, deputy director of athletics at the University of Memphis, has been named director of athletics at the University at Buffalo, UB President Satish K. Tripathi announced today.
A former Division I football player at the University of Missouri, Alnutt helped develop Memphis' $45 million NCAA Division I athletics program, assisted with leading its 380 student-athletes and oversaw all external operations for the athletics program, among other responsibilities.
Alnutt's UB appointment is effective April 11. He succeeds Allen Greene, who accepted the AD position at Auburn University in January.
"We are so excited to have Mark join our UB family. His time in NCAA athletics has been defined by his leadership and vision. We believe that he possesses exactly the qualities needed to elevate UB Athletics to our next tier of excellence," Tripathi said.
"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 and a clear commitment to ensuring the finest student-athlete experience through the core values of academic and competitive achievement," he said.
"Mark is driven, innovative and thoughtful, and I have every confidence he will help the UB athletics program realize its full potential, competing with the very best in the nation."
The Kansas City native joins UB at a pivotal and historic moment for the university's athletics program, with the men's basketball team having just last week posted UB's first-ever win in the NCAA Tournament and — with Monday's victory over Florida State — the women's basketball team earning UB its first trip to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16.
Alnutt has nearly 18 years of professional experience in NCAA Division I Intercollegiate Athletics. Before joining the University of Memphis, he served as director of athletics at Southeast Missouri State University for three-plus years. Prior to that, he served at the University of Missouri as senior associate athletics director from 2006 to 2012 and director of football operations from 2000 to 2005, adding an assistant athletic director title prior to the 2005-2006 season.
During Alnutt's tenure at Memphis, he was elected chair of the NCAA Minority Opportunity and Interests Committee; assisted in reaching the goal of $40 million for the university's Time to Shine capital campaign; diversified annual giving; increased outreach efforts to the community and schools; coordinated all aspects of football bowl trips; and shared oversight of football and men's basketball while directing administrative oversight of baseball and women's basketball, sports medicine, strength and conditioning, and facilities. He successfully campaigned and lobbied the city of Memphis to approve nearly $5 million in improvements to Liberty Bowl Stadium.
The athletics program experienced numerous milestones during Alnutt's career at Memphis, including the football team setting an attendance record and student-athletes achieving the highest grade point average (GPA) in school history.
"I'm extremely honored to be named director of athletics at the University at Buffalo," Alnutt said.
"I want to thank UB President Dr. Satish Tripathi for his leadership and committed vision to having an athletic department that is recognized nationally for academic excellence and competitive success.
"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," he said. "I look forward to engaging our university, the great community of the Buffalo metropolitan area and our prideful alumni to build upon the foundation that has been set to collectively achieve new heights for this department and the dedicated young men and women who comprise our student-athlete body."
Search committee co-chair Jonathan Dandes, president of Buffalo Bisons Baseball and Rich Baseball Operations, said Alnutt's energy, experience and leadership will serve UB exceedingly well as it continues its upward trajectory.
"As a former student-athlete and a proven consummate leader, Mark Alnutt sets a superb example for UB's student-athletes," said Dandes, a member of the UB Council and past president of the UB Alumni Association. "Given both his stellar credentials and standards, he will prove to be an invaluable asset to the university, the alumni community and the entire Western New York region."
"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 Beth Del Genio, chief of staff to the UB president. "His dedication to developing student-athletes for academic success while cultivating competitive excellence across all sports aligns precisely with our values and priorities."
Prior to his tenure at Memphis, Alnutt oversaw Southeast Missouri's 15 sports programs and 320 student-athletes as director of athletics. Alnutt made many key head coaching hires, negotiated and executed the first-ever NCAA collegiate football game at St. Louis' Busch Stadium — the largest off-campus alumni gathering in the university's history — and was instrumental in helping football ticket revenue increase 58 percent and total giving to athletics increase by more than 26 percent.
Under his leadership, Southeast Missouri's student-athletes excelled in the classroom, recording a cumulative 3.15 GPA during the 2014-15 academic year while logging a record number of community service hours with coaches and staff.
At the University of Missouri, Alnutt was the administrative liaison for football; supervised track and field, cross country, gymnastics and golf; spearheaded the department's project management team; oversaw all aspects of facility project master planning, development management and implementation; and was involved with external department operations. As director of football operations, he coordinated the team's travel plans, oversaw the football budget and handled compliance issues, among other responsibilities.
A three-year letterman for Missouri, Alnutt played linebacker and tight end. As a senior, he was voted the team's champion of the year, awarded to the student-athlete who represented the commitment, dedication and hard work needed to be a leader both on and off the field.
He has a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in public administration with an emphasis on sports psychology.
Alnutt serves on the NCAA Football Playing Rules Committee. He has participated in the Division I-A Athletic Director's Institute and chaired the NCAA Women's Gymnastic committee.
Alnutt and his wife, Kate, have four children, Jaren, Kinleigh, Mason and Aidan.