University of Tulsa athletic director Lawrence “Bubba” Cunningham is expected to be named UNC’s next athletic director today, pending approval from the University’s Board of Trustees, according to a source close to the selection process.
The board will vote on Cunningham’s hiring in an emergency meeting via teleconference at 9 a.m. at the Carolina Inn. The meeting is expected to be followed at 11 a.m. by a press conference at the Smith Center.
If approved, Cunningham will replace athletic director Dick Baddour and move to UNC after nearly six years at Tulsa and three years as athletic director at Ball State University.
He was selected by a 13-member search committee and UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp after a seven-week search process.
The University hired Carr Sports Associates Inc. to conduct a national search for a new athletic director after Baddour announced in August he would step down in the wake of the NCAA probe into the University’s football program and the firing of head football coach Butch Davis.
Cunningham graduated from Notre Dame with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 1984 and 1988, respectively, and played golf for the Fighting Irish. Before becoming athletic director at Ball State in 2002, Cunningham spent 15 years working in the athletic department at Notre Dame.
One of Cunningham’s first tasks in Chapel Hill will likely be hiring UNC’s next head football coach — an undertaking with which he is quite familiar.
Cunningham hired Todd Graham as head football coach at Tulsa in 2007. As head coach for the Golden Hurricane, Graham posted a 36-17 record before becoming the head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh in 2011.
He also hired Brady Hoke as head football coach at Ball State in 2002. Hoke is now head football coach at the University of Michigan and is currently undefeated in his first season with the Wolverines.
Contact the Sports Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.