UB Athletics has had a historic week. They earned their first NCAA tournament wins in both men's and women’s college basketball. Then Wednesday, the program hired its new director of athletics.
Mark Alnutt will be replacing Allen Greene, who accepted the athletics director position at Auburn University in January. Alnutt helped develop Memphis’ $45 million NCAA Division I athletics program.
He said it didn’t take long to view Buffalo as a good fit for his career.
“You know I have this note here (that says) why Buffalo? It’s easy," said Alnutt. "Why not? We’re in a great place. The foundation has been laid here. The trajectory continues to (head) the right way, which I am so excited about. I’m so excited about where we’re at.”
Alnutt said it’s important to have stability in the role of athletic director moving forward. His focus for student athletes will be centered on three points-- academic excellence, program success, and social development.
“And part of that is this…. teaching them the soft skills,” said Alnutt. “To be prepared to work in the position I’m in. The ability to be able to be able to write a resume. The ability to understand what the interview process is like. The ability to have that etiquette at the dinner table. Those type of soft skills. To be involved and partner with campus when those career fairs come in.”
Alnutt said they established a career fair at Memphis just for student athletes. This past December, Memphis had 27 of those students graduate. 24 of them are either pursing an advanced degree or have started their career. The other three recently participated at the NFL combine. Alnutt hopes to bring similar results to UB.
“We’re going to graduate our student athletes first and foremost. We are going to graduate our kids,” said Alnutt. “When you do that, they get that important tool in the toolkit of life that’s going to help them open doors to whatever possibilities there might be. Whether they stay here in Buffalo and become productive citizens here in this community or they go back home somewhere else.”
Alnutt’s appointment begins April 11.