Duke Director of Athletics Joe Alleva is in his 10th year leading one of the nation’s most prestigious athletic programs. He has been at the University for 31 years.
Alleva has overseen unprecedented success and growth in the department that includes propelling Duke into a fixture among the nation’s top all-around programs, posting graduation rates that consistently rank among the best in the country, enhancing community outreach efforts, establishing record-setting fundraising levels, initiating sizeable facilities construction and renovation, and increasing the department staff size by nearly 40 percent.
“Joe is unwaveringly loyal to Duke and to the educational values that undergird all of our programs, including athletics,” Duke President Richard H. Brodhead said following Alleva’s five-year reappointment to the position in August 2007.
Brodhead further explained the review confirmed that Alleva was well-recognized for sustaining high standards of integrity in the athletics program, his championing of Duke’s concept of the student-athlete, the quality of coaches he has hired, and the high level of success that has been achieved across athletic programs at Duke under Alleva’s leadership.
During Alleva’s tenure as director of athletics, every one of Duke’s 26 varsity sports and the Health, Physical Education and Recreation department have benefited from increased commitment. Simply put, the Duke Department of Athletics has never been as successful, whether in competition, the classroom, or the community.
Duke athletics has flourished under Alleva’s direction. The Blue Devils finished fifth in the 2005 Division I Directors’ Cup, which rates athletics departments based on the success of its teams. Duke followed up its impressive 2005 performance with an eighth-place finish in 2006 and an 11th-place showing in 2007. Prior to 1998-99, Alleva’s first full year as director of athletics, Duke had never placed higher than 21st in the Directors’ Cup standings. Since then, Duke has enjoyed six top 20 finishes, including four in succession (2004-07).
In the 2006 National Collegiate Scouting Association Power Rankings that combine a school’s Directors’ Cup finish, its athletic graduation rates and its academic ranking in U.S. News and World Report, Duke was the top-ranked Division I school in the nation, ahead of Stanford, Notre Dame, Princeton and Harvard. Duke also finished first in this listing in 2005 and second in 2004.
Here is a look at some of the key athletic accomplishments by Duke under Alleva’s guidance:
Six NCAA National Championships (Duke has nine overall)
19 Final Four participants
44 ACC Championship teams
Eight Top 25 Directors’ Cup finishes (three top 10 finishes)
71 Academic All-America selections
147 All-Americas (250 honors)
251 All-ACC selections (400 honors)
12 National Player of the Year selections (17 honors)
6 National Rookie of the Year selections
16 National Coach of the Year selections
32 ACC Rookie of the Year selections
34 ACC Coach of the Year awards
24 ACC Player of the Year selections (33 honors)
Six Duke teams -- men’s basketball in 2001, women’s golf in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007 -- have won national championships since Alleva’s appointment as director of athletics. Since Alleva took over the helm at Duke, 44 Blue Devil teams notched ACC Championships, the second-highest total among ACC schools since 1997-98. Duke has won at least four ACC Championships in eight of the nine years Alleva has been the director of athletics (not counting spring of 1997-98). Eight of Duke’s top 10 seasons in regards to conference championships are under Alleva, including the school-record seven league titles in 2000-01.
While continuing its excellence in competition, Duke has not lost sight of its obligation to educate its student-athletes. Duke’s graduation rates for its student-athletes continue to rank among the best in the nation (its most recent Federal Graduation Rate was 91%). In 2007, Duke finished first among league schools on the ACC Academic Honor Roll for the 20th consecutive year (394 Blue Devil student-athletes maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or better in 2006-07). During the 2006-07 academic year, 20 of Duke’s 26 athletic teams posted grade point averages of 3.0 or higher. Alleva has augmented the academic support budget that is now 10 times higher in 2006-07 that it was during the 1997-98 year.
Additionally, Duke student-athletes continue to reach out to the local community through several programs such as Duke’s award-winning Verizon Read with the Blue Devils. The program now enters its 16th year and assists Durham teachers by providing reading incentives to third and fourth graders. Other partnerships include SAAC (Student Athletic Advisory Committee) members serving in the Urban Ministries Soup Kitchen, adopting families through Project Share at Christmas, hosting students from the Oxford Housing Authority at home football games, visiting families the Ronald McDonald House, and partnering with E.K. Powe Elementary School to host the annual Winter Fun Day in February of each year. There are dozens more outreach programs in which Duke student-athletes are involved. In 2006-07, Duke student-athletes volunteered nearly 3,000 community outreach hours.
Fundraising under Alleva has reached extensive heights. In nine years, Alleva and his fundraising team raised more than $173 million in gifts and funded more than $85 million in new facilities or renovation. Annual giving to the Iron Dukes has increased 50 percent since the year 2000, including a record $11 million in the fiscal year ending in June 2007.
New facilities built under Alleva’s watch include the Yoh Football Center, Sheffield Tennis Center, Schwartz-Butters Athletic Center, Ambler Tennis Stadium, Karcher-Ingram Golf Center, Rod Myers Teaching Center, the Skandalaris Fieldhouse at Koskinen Stadium and the fieldhouse at Williams Field. Facility upgrades have been made to Cameron Indoor Stadium, Wallace Wade Stadium, Jack Coombs Stadium, Koskinen Stadium, Williams Field, Murray Athletic Building, and Brooks Field at the football practice facility.
The latest major facility upgrades include the multi-million dollar Michael W. Krzyzewski Center Dedicated to Athletic and Academic Excellence, which will house three major components -- the Jack Campbell Academic Support Center, the University Events Center providing all areas of the campus with a premier event space and a basketball training complex for both the men’s and women’s teams. Included in the facility will be vastly expanded academic space, new weight rooms, team and individual video rooms, meeting rooms and banquet facilities able to accommodate 300 people. Groundbreaking on the 56,000 square-foot center occurred in September 2006 and its completion date is January 2008.
Alleva also established a visionary Athletics Advisory Board in 1999 consisting of influential business and sports leaders throughout the country with interests in the Duke Athletics program.
Alleva is active on the national collegiate athletics scene, serving on the Football Bowl Certification Committee and the Gatorade Advisory Board. He sits on Atlantic Coast Conference committees on Finance, Infractions and Penalties, Television (chair), Football, and Men’s Basketball. At Duke, Alleva is part of the Undergraduate Leadership Group, the Committee on Undergraduate Affairs and the University Athletic Council. Additionally, Alleva recently completed his service on the NCAA Division 1 Championships/Competition Cabinet.
A native of Suffern, N.Y., Alleva joined the athletics staff in 1980 and was named assistant director of athletics in July 1986. He has also served as assistant director of the Iron Dukes during his tenure. In 1987, Alleva was promoted to associate director of athletics, assuming a great deal of responsibility for all day-to-day operations of the department. He also served as the athletics business manager during Duke’s rapid growth from the mid-1980s until 1998.
Alleva played football and baseball at Lehigh and was football captain in 1974. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1975 majoring in finance and served as a graduate assistant football coach for Lehigh, earning an MBA in 1976. Alleva began serving Duke in 1976 working for the vice president for business and finance.
He has played a key role in Durham’s community sports scene over the last several years. He started Little League Baseball in Durham over 15 years ago, and also began the American Legion baseball program in the area. Alleva is a member of the North Carolina American Legion Hall of Fame, Suffern H.S. Hall of Fame and the Rockland County Hall of Fame.
Alleva and his wife, Annie, have two sons, J.D. (Duke, ‘01) and Jeff (Duke, ‘03) along with a daughter, Jenny (Duke, ‘07). A 24th-round pick by the Kansas City Royals in the 2001 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, J.D. played baseball in the Royals’ minor league system. He is currently a professional scout for the Houston Astros. Jeff finished his baseball career at Duke in 2003 and signed a free agent contract with the Royals following his senior season. He recently graduated with his MBA from the prestigious Fuqua School of Business at Duke. Jenny, a four-year letterwinner on Duke’s women’s soccer team, will attend law school in the fall of 2007.
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