UC Davis announced Monday afternoon it had hired Kevin Blue as its new director of athletics.
Blue, 33, is the senior associate athletics director for external relations at Stanford. He replaces interim athletics director Teresa Gould.
The appointment by acting Chancellor Ralph Hexter ends a months-long search that included a 12-person campus recruitment advisory committee.
Blue’s salary will be $245,000, with incentives of up to $30,000 per year for academic, fundraising and athletic excellence.
Blue, who will assume his new role June 21, will be introduced at a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Davis.
“I am absolutely delighted that Kevin will lead intercollegiate athletics,” Hexter said in a release. “ … At Stanford, Kevin demonstrated his ability to develop effective business strategies and initiatives. His passion and leadership will generate renewed enthusiasm from our diverse Aggie community.”
During his seven-year tenure at Stanford, Blue oversaw the external business units in athletics, including sales, sponsorships, marketing, communications, business strategy and ticket operations. He oversaw the university’s relationships with Learfield Sports, Spectra Ticketing, key sponsors and the Pac-12 Network. He also served as sports administrator for several varsity programs.
Blue also worked with Stanford’s football program, overseeing the operations and business aspects of the Cardinal’s participation in the Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl and three Rose Bowls.
“I’m extraordinarily excited to join the Aggie family,” Blue said in a release. “UC Davis is an esteemed university that has especially flourished in recent years, and I look forward to helping the institution continue to thrive. I’m honored to lead and serve a very special athletics community at UC Davis.”
Blue graduated from Stanford in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and captained the golf team, twice earning Academic All-America status. He received a doctorate in sports psychology from Michigan State. Blue also studied at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
The UCD recruitment advisory committee was chaired by faculty athletics representative Scott Carrell. It included two Aggies head coaches, the president of the Associated Students, alumni, foundation members and business leaders. The Parker Executive Search firm assisted in the search.
While the five finalists weren’t publicly identified, Saint Mary’s athletic director Mark Orr, a former Christian Brothers High School and Cal football player, and Tufts director of athletics John Morris were linked to the job.
Several prominent UCD alumni and Davis Enterprise columnist Bob Dunning lobbied for former Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross. The former UCD football player and USC assistant athletic director oversaw Syracuse’s successful transition from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference while taking nonrevenue sports to new heights during his 10 years at the Orange’s athletic helm.
But Gross stepped down as AD in March 2015 shortly after the NCAA levied heavy penalties against the Syracuse men’s basketball program. The NCAA took away eight scholarships and forced the men’s basketball program to forfeit 101 victories. Gross is now Syracuse’s vice president and special assistant to the chancellor.
Gould – whose husband, Ron Gould, is the Aggies’ football coach – served as interim AD for 13 months after Terry Tumey abruptly resigned.