Bruce Van De Velde, Louisiana Tech University’s athletic director, announced earlier today that he is stepping down from his position, effective Monday.
Van De Velde has been athletic director since March 2010.
“My experience at Louisiana Tech has been both rewarding and challenging,” said Van De Velde. “I am proud of my contributions to the competitive and academic success of our student-athletes and coaches, and to have enhanced a culture of honesty, integrity, competitiveness and academic excellence within the athletic department.”
Dr. Les Guice, incoming Louisiana Tech President, will lead the search committee and said he hopes to have a replacement soon.
“We will conduct this search with a focus on identifying candidates that share our vision and philosophies regarding intercollegiate athletics, its responsibility to our student-athletes and supporters, and its overall role within the university,” said Guice. “Our committee will be thorough, yet timely, in the vetting of candidates to ensure the momentum that Louisiana Tech Athletics has built over the past several years is not diminished.”
Mary Kay Hungate, who serves as deputy athletics director and senior woman administrator, will become interim athletic director until a replacement is named.
Van De Velde has seen successes and failures in his three years as athletic director. He hired former head football coach Sonny Dykes, head basketball coach Michael White and new head football coach Skip Holtz in his tenure, as well as leading the charge on multiple facility upgrades.
Dr. Dan Reneau, outgoing Louisiana Tech president, said Van De Velde has helped Louisiana Tech athletics get to where they are today.
“We appreciate all that Bruce has done for Louisiana Tech and the success that our programs have had under his leadership,” Reneau said. “His contributions as athletics director have been valuable and he has enhanced many aspects of our intercollegiate athletics program.”
However, Van De Velde was the figurehead of what many regard as a poorly managed bowl invitation this past football season that left the (9-3) Bulldogs without a bowl game.
Van De Velde has agreed to stay with the university through the end of his contract in February 2014. He will serve in a non-administrative support role.
“We are pleased that Bruce has agreed to remain with Louisiana Tech and continue assisting us in the advancement of our institution,” Reneau said.
For more information on the upcoming search for a new athletic director and other Tech athletics, follow The Tech Talk Sports’ Twitter at twitter.com/techtalksports.