Joe Alleva continues to bring unprecedented national recognition to LSU as Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics. Under Alleva’s leadership, LSU enjoys one of the country’s premier athletics programs with success on and off the field of competition. Now in his eighth year at LSU, Alleva is dedicated to athletic and academic excellence, and he is committed to providing the opportunities and the resources necessary for student-athletes to excel in competition, in the classroom and in the community. Alleva joined the LSU family on April 4, 2008, after a highly successful tenure as director of athletics at Duke University for 10 years. He was named vice chancellor at LSU in August of 2009, marking the first time in school history that the director of athletics has also held a vice chancellor position.
Alleva is currently serving a five-year term on the prestigious NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee, enhancing his reputation as one of the most respected athletic administrators in the country. He has been appointed to numerous national committees throughout his career, including the Football Bowl Certification Committee, the NCAA Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet and several Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference committees.
Upon his arrival at LSU, Alleva unveiled a strategic master plan for the LSU athletics program -- “LSU: Thru and True” -- to confirm the advancement and future of LSU Athletics as an exemplary enterprise. The central mission of the plan is to create an environment for student-athletes to reach their ultimate potential, prepare them to be champions in life and to set out goals and values for the entire athletics program.
Living up to Alleva’s mantra of “competition, classroom, community,” a total of 71 proud Tigers received their degrees from the university during LSU commencement ceremonies in December 2014 and May 2015. LSU’s Graduation Success Rate as reported by the NCAA remains at an all-time high for the university with a score of 81. LSU student-athletes in 2014-15 logged 3,961 hours in community service work across 21 sports through LSU’s “Geaux Givers” program.
Alleva’s strong commitment to academics ensures that the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes is a first-class facility that cultivates success in the classroom and the development of life skills. And with an emphasis on community outreach programs, the implementation under Alleva’s direction of the “Geaux Givers” fosters a relationship between the local citizens and LSU student-athletes. Alleva has also bolstered the National L-Club program to connect with former student-athletes, and he has supervised the thriving “Project Graduation” program in which former student-athletes return to LSU to earn their degrees.
Alleva’s tenure has been distinguished by a number of significant athletic achievements, including four 10-win seasons and 69 total victories by the football team. The Tigers have played in a bowl game in each of Alleva’s seven gridiron seasons and LSU has finished in the Top 20 five times in that period. LSU under Alleva’s leadership has claimed the 2009 baseball national championship and three College World Series berths, the 2015 men’s golf national championship, two women’s basketball Sweet 16 appearances, three gymnastics Super Six berths, two softball Women's College World Series appearances and 16 NCAA Top 5 finishes indoors and outdoors by the men’s and women’s track and field teams. The Tigers in the past seven seasons have earned 33 individual NCAA championships in the sports of men and women’s track and field, gymnastics, men’s golf and women’s golf. LSU has captured 14 Southeastern Conference team championships, and the Tigers have won 90 individual SEC titles during Alleva’s term.
The men’s golf national championship – the Tigers’ fifth title and their first since 1955 - highlighted a remarkable 2014-15 season that featured history-making performances. Sixteen of LSU’s 21 sports earned points toward the school’s No. 15 national ranking in the 2014-15 Learfield Directors’ Cup, marking the Tigers’ third finish in the Top 15 during Alleva’s tenure. The Tigers had seven Top 10 NCAA finishes, and LSU became the first school in SEC history to play in a bowl game, have both its men’s and women’s basketball teams reach the NCAA Tournament, and advance to the College World Series in baseball and softball in the same athletic year. LSU joined Florida State and Texas as the only schools in NCAA annals to accomplish the bowl game, men’s/women’s NCAA basketball tournament, and baseball/softball College World Series feat.
In addition, the LSU men’s programs captured the 2014-15 Southeastern Conference All-Sports title, the first for the LSU men since 1996-97, and the LSU women finished third in the SEC all-sports standings. The baseball team led the nation in wins with 54, won the SEC title and earned a berth in the CWS for the second time in three years. The softball team reached the Women’s CWS for the second time in four years and secured the program’s first No. 1 ranking. The men’s basketball program continued its return to national prominence by winning 22 games, finishing third in the SEC and participating in the NCAA Tournament. The men’s track and field squad placed fourth in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, and both the men’s and women’s teams posted Top 10 finishes in the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The 2015 LSU gymnastics team drew sold-out crowds to the Maravich Center and won its third straight NCAA regional title. The volleyball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the women’s golf team recorded a Top 20 NCAA finish, the men’s and women’s tennis teams recorded victories in the NCAA Tournament, and the women’s swimming and diving teams sent a school-record 11 competitors to the NCAA meet.
Alleva’s vision keeps LSU among the nation’s leaders in athletic facilities. In the fall of 2014, LSU opened the expansion of the South End Zone of Tiger Stadium -- a project that added premium seating, general public seating and two state-of-the-art video boards -- continuing an effort to augment one of the most iconic venues in all of college sports. Since 2010, Alleva has directed an aggressive campaign to preserve and enhance the appearance of Tiger Stadium that has included the installation of new windows, lighting systems, gating systems, and championship plazas. The Football Operations Building will soon experience a significant renovation to maintain its status as a high-functioning workplace for coaches and players.
LSU’s world-renowned track and field program in 2010 received a new running surface in Bernie Moore Stadium, and extensive renovations to the Maddox Field House in the spring of 2014 give the Tigers a first-class indoor track and field venue. Alleva directed a major renovation to the University Club golf course that was completed in September 2010 and allows the LSU men’s and women’s golf teams to play on one of the most challenging courses in the country. An overhaul of the LSU soccer facility was completed in the fall of 2011, converting the stadium into fan-friendly venue.
This fall, LSU will open a new gymnastics practice facility and a new tennis complex featuring indoor and outdoor courts. Future plans include the construction of a modern Nutrition Center for Student-Athletes, a facility that will house full-time chefs and nutritionists for all Fighting Tiger competitors.
Alleva is an innovator with bold ideas that benefit all of Greater Baton Rouge. He has been instrumental in the planning of the Bayou Country Superfest, a three-day country music concert and festival held in Tiger Stadium each spring. The event attracts over 100,000 visitors to the LSU campus and makes a tremendous economic impact upon the local community.
Alleva became director of athletics at Duke in 1998 and his impressive tenure there propelled the university into the ranks of America’s top all-around collegiate programs. Among his outstanding list of accomplishments includes the greatest 10-year period in Duke Athletics, winning more ACC and NCAA championships than in any other decade in school history.
Alleva, whose hometown is Suffern, N.Y., majored in Finance at Lehigh University and received his bachelor’s degree in 1975. While at Lehigh, Alleva was the quarterback of the football team and team captain in 1974. Alleva also played on the Lehigh baseball team. He served as a graduate assistant football coach and earned an MBA in 1976.
While at Duke, Alleva played a key role in Durham’s community sports scene. He started Little League Baseball in Durham over 20 years ago, and also began the American Legion baseball program.
He is a member of the North Carolina American Legion Hall of Fame, Suffern High School Hall of Fame and the Rockland County Hall of Fame.
Alleva and his wife, Annie, have three children, J.D., Jeff, and Jenny, one granddaughter and one grandson.