McNeese State University Athletics Director Tommy McClelland has been selected to become the next athletic director at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. McClelland has led the athletics department at McNeese since 2007.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at McNeese and the support from the administration, faculty, coaches, students, boosters and fans for the athletic program has been exceptional. I was planning on more years at McNeese, but this is an incredible opportunity for me professionally, and for my family," McClelland said.
"Tommy has led the athletic department with integrity, energy and vision. His work, leadership and judgment have been outstanding and he will be missed," said Dr. Philip Williams, McNeese president.
When McClelland was named McNeese athletics director, many in the community were skeptical about his youth. However, during his eight-year tenure McNeese has led all Southland Conference institutions four of the past five years with student-athletes on the Commissioners Honor Roll, there have been multiple conference championships, post-season tournament appearances, team and individual sports records set, three McNeese student-athletes have won the prestigious SLC Citizenship Award and numerous student-athletes have been recognized by the SLC for their academic performance.
"Tommy understood the importance of both academic and athletic performance," Williams said. McNeese was the only public university in Louisiana to have all sports above the 930 APR NCAA benchmark in 2013.
McClelland also demonstrated success in marketing McNeese athletics that led to increased season ticket sales, game attendance and bringing more private dollars into the athletics department budget to offset state cuts.
Williams said that Bridget Martin, associate athletics director, senior women's administrator and compliance coordinator, would serve as interim athletics director. Martin has been a senior administrator in the athletics department for more than 10 years and previously served as the women's head basketball coach.
McNeese will immediately begin the process of forming a search committee and Williams said he will be looking for someone with a shared vision who will be able to embrace the distinct McNeese culture and traditions and who can build upon the athletics department's momentum and strong foundation that McClelland has championed.
"It has been a privilege for me to work with so many outstanding and dedicated coaches and talented and hardworking athletes. I wish all of them continued success," McClelland said.