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 sixth year at LSU, Alleva is dedicated to athletic and academic excellence, and 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. Alleva’s role at LSU was further expanded in August of 2009 when vice chancellor was added to his title by the LSU Board of Supervisors. It is 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, reinforcing his position as one of the most respected athletic administrators in the country.
Upon his arrival at LSU, Alleva unveiled a strategic master plan for the LSU athletics program -- “LSU: Thru and True” -- to ensure the advancement and future of LSU Athletics as an exemplary program. 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.
Alleva’s vision will keep LSU among the nation’s leaders in athletic facilities. He launched an aggressive fund-raising campaign to replace several hundred windows in Tiger Stadium that were in disrepair, and a new coating to the facade of the structure has given the old stadium new life. A renovated gating system on the west side of the stadium debuted in the fall of 2012 to include a plaza that celebrates LSU’s football national championships and recognition walls that honor Tiger All-Americans. A new plaza will open on the north end of the stadium in the fall of 2013, further enriching the experience of visitors to the LSU campus.
A new lighting system was installed prior to last season that turns the upper archways of the north end of the stadium purple and gold and lights the iconic "LSU" on the stadium's north scoreboard. In addition, "Tiger Stadium" in 10-foot tall illuminated letters sits just below the west upper deck facing Nicholson Drive.
Also in the fall of 2012, LSU began construction on an expansion of the South End Zone of the stadium -- a project that will add 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. The project will be completed in time for the start of the 2014 football season.
Under Alleva’s direction, LSU’s world-renowned track and field program received a state-of the-art running surface in 2010 when a new track was installed in Bernie Moore Stadium and extensive renovations to the Tiger soccer facility were completed in the fall of 2011.
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 compete on one of the most challenging courses in the country. The renovated course helped prepare Tiger golfers John Peterson and Austin Ernst, respectively, to win 2011 NCAA men’s and women’s individual championships, marking the first time both titles were claimed by players from the same school. The LSU men’s team in 2013 played host to an NCAA Regional for the first time in the school’s illustrious golf history.
Future plans include a new gymnastics practice facility, a new tennis complex featuring indoor and outdoor courts, and a state-of-the-art Nutrition Center for Student-Athletes, a facility that will house full-time chefs and nutritionists and provide the best dietary selections for all Fighting Tiger competitors.
LSU’s prominence was evident in the final 2012-13 Learfield Sports Director’s Cup standings that recognize the nation’s best athletic programs, as the Tigers finished in the Top 20 for the eighth consecutive year.
The year was highlighted by another 10-win season and bowl appearance for the Fighting Tiger football team, which recorded a double-digit victory total for the sixth time in eight years. The men’s basketball program was rejuvenated by first-year coach Johnny Jones, who directed the Tigers to a 19-12 mark while placing LSU back into consideration for a postseason berth. Women’s basketball continued its rise under second-year coach Nikki Caldwell, who guided the Lady Tigers to LSU’s first Sweet 16 berth in five years.
The 2013 Fighting Tiger baseball team established a school record for victories with 57 and earned the school’s 16th College World Series appearance while capturing SEC Western Division and SEC Tournament titles. The softball squad won the SEC West and played host to an NCAA Regional in Tiger Park before record crowds. The LSU gymnastics team reached the prestigious Super Six for the third time in six seasons, and the women’s track team, led by Bowerman Award winner and national sprint champion Kimberlyn Duncan, placed fourth in the final NCAA outdoor standings.
But the 2012-13 year was about more than just athletic success. Living up to Alleva’s mantra of “competition, classroom, community,” LSU student-athletes logged more than 4,475 hours in community service work across 20 sports through LSU’s Geaux Givers program. And a total of 89 proud Tigers received their degrees from the university during LSU commencement ceremonies in December and May.
The Tigers in 2011-12 finished fourth in both the men’s and women’s Capital One Cup competition that identifies athletic excellence. LSU was one of only two schools in the country – and the only one in the SEC -- to rank in the top four in both categories.
Eighteen of the Tigers’ 20 varsity sports participated in NCAA postseason competition in 2011-12. The year was highlighted by the football team’s undefeated regular season, an SEC championship and an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game. The Lady Tiger track and field team captured the SEC championship while the LSU softball squad advanced to the Women’s College World Series. The Fighting Tiger baseball team won the 2012 SEC championship, and LSU led the nation in attendance for the 17th straight season. The 2011-12 season marked the first time in school history that LSU won both the SEC title in both football and baseball in the same athletic year.
Outstanding performances of the 2010-11 athletic season included the exploits of the Fighting Tiger football squad that posted an 11-2 mark – including a Cotton Bowl victory – and finished the season ranked No. 8 in the nation. The year also featured Top 5 national finishes both indoors and outdoors by the men’s and women’s track and field teams.
In 2008-09, all 20 LSU sports competed in NCAA postseason play for the first time in school history and the Tiger baseball team won the national championship. LSU ranked second among Southeastern Conference teams in the Learfield Director’s Cup All-Sports standings and finished in the Top 20 for the sixth year in a row.
With a strong commitment to academics, Alleva ensures that the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes is a first-class facility that provides student-athletes the resources necessary for success in the classroom and personal development. The facility was recently enhanced by the addition of a media training center that gives student-athletes valuable assistance in improving their communications skills.
And with a strong emphasis on community service and outreach programs, the implementation under Alleva’s direction of the “Geaux Givers” program fosters a relationship between the local community and LSU student-athletes, who regularly participate in philanthropic events. In addition, Alleva has bolstered the department’s L-Club program to reach out and connect with former student-athletes.
Alleva oversees a staff of outstanding coaches and he has made critical additions to LSU’s coaching staff in recent years. He hired former LSU guard Johnny Jones in April 2012 to breathe new life and enthusiasm into the men’s basketball program and last year added Julia Sell as the new women’s tennis coach. In 2011, he lured the dynamic Nikki Caldwell to LSU to coach the Lady Tiger basketball team and then hired Beth Torina to direct the Tiger softball program, both of whom immediately returned their respective programs to NCAA postseason success.
Alleva is an innovator with bold ideas that benefit not only LSU but all of Greater Baton Rouge. He has been instrumental in the planning of the Bayou Country Superfest, a two-day country music concert and festival held in Tiger Stadium each spring. The event attracts nearly 100,000 visitors to the LSU campus and makes a tremendous economic impact upon the local community.
Alleva has served on 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.
He 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. Joe and Annie recently welcomed their first grandchild, Harper, the daughter of Jenny and husband Kyle Young.