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 ninth 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 completed last spring 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: Defined by Excellence” -- 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 goals and values for the entire athletics program.
Living up to Alleva’s mantra of “competition, classroom, community,” a total of 83 proud Tigers received their degrees from the university during LSU commencement ceremonies in December and May. LSU’s Graduation Success Rate as reported by the NCAA remains at an all-time high for the university with a score of 84. LSU student-athletes in 2015-16 logged 5,612 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 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 78 total victories by the football team. The Tigers have played in a bowl game in each of Alleva’s eight gridiron seasons and LSU has finished in the Top 20 six 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, four gymnastics Super Six berths, three softball College World Series appearances and 18 NCAA Top 5 finishes indoors and outdoors by the men’s and women’s track and field teams.
The Tigers in the past eight seasons have earned 37 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 102 individual SEC titles during Alleva’s term.
LSU in 2014-15 became the first school in SEC history to play in a football 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 enjoyed another banner year in 2015-16, as the school produced five Top 5 NCAA finishes and earned a No. 19 national ranking in the annual Learfield Directors' Cup, which measures the overall excellence of collegiate athletic programs. Fifteen LSU teams competed in an NCAA championship event, and the Tigers finished in the Top 10 in seven sports.
The Fighting Tiger football squad played in a bowl game for a school-record 16th straight season and finished the year ranked No. 17 in the nation after posting a dominating 56-27 win over Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl.
The gymnastics team completed the season No. 2 in the nation, the highest finish in program history, and the softball squad appeared in the Women's College World Series for the second straight year, reaching the semifinals to finish No. 3 in the country.
LSU's storied track and field program produced three Top 10 finishes in 2015-16. The men's team placed fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships and fifth at the NCAA Outdoor meet, while the Lady Tigers placed sixth outdoors. The men's golf team advanced to match play at the NCAA Championships for a school-record third straight season and the Tigers tied for fifth overall.
LSU in 2016 became just the second baseball program in NCAA history to earn five straight NCAA Tournament National Seeds. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals and finished the year tied for ninth nationally.
LSU advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round in both men's and women's tennis, while also reaching NCAA postseason in women's golf, women's soccer, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving.
Alleva’s vision keeps LSU among the nation’s leaders in athletic facilities. Last year, LSU unveiled two new venues -- a magnificent Gymnastics Practice Facility and a tremendous Tennis Center featuring both indoor and outdoor courts. Construction will begin this year on a Nutrition Center within the expansive existing space at the South End of Tiger Stadium. The new facility will feature 30,000 square feet of dining and kitchen area and all of the elements necessary to ensure that the Tigers receive the absolute finest in dietary support.
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 is undergoing 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 gave 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.
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, and four grandchildren.