Allen Greene is moving south and making history, becoming the first African American athletic director at Auburn University.
Green, who was the director of athletics at the University of Buffalo since November of 2015, has just become the 15th AD at Auburn, taking over for the retiring Jay Jacobs, who served in that role since 2005.
“Allen kicks off the next exciting chapter for Auburn Athletics,” said Auburn President Steven Leath in a school release. “In our interviews and due diligence learning all we could about him, it became overwhelmingly clear that Allen has the right combination of leadership, enthusiasm, experience and management to lead Auburn Athletics to success well into the future.”
Greene, 40, graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in finance. He was also a three-year starter in baseball and was selected by the New York Yankees in the 1998 MLB draft and played in the team’s minor league system until March of 2001. He then went back to school, earning his master’s degree from Indiana University and moving into the world of college sports.
He held multiple positions at various schools before moving up to athletic director at the University of Buffalo, including business development at the University of Mississippi, school compliance at Notre Dame and deputy of athletics at Buffalo.
Allen Greene: “It’s been crazy. I’m excited to get on campus and feel this energy for myself.” https://t.co/WYp0c11QmL
Greene has now become one of the youngest ADs in Division I schools and is one of the most active and well regarded too. He works with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, Minority Opportunities Athletics Association, and LEAD1, an association dedicated to preparing today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders.
“Serving Auburn University as Director of Athletics is a tremendous honor and an awesome responsibility, Greene said in the release. “Time-honored traditions have helped create a culture of success at Auburn that is incredibly rare. I am humbled that President Leath and the Search Committee entrust me to maintain all that is uniquely Auburn and utilize that foundation to forge a path to even greater heights. Whether in the classroom or on the fields and courts of play, these lofty expectations are embraced, and I am eager to get to work for the Auburn Family.”
“Allen Greene represents, by far and away, one of this generation’s pinnacle players within the rapidly evolving landscape of college athletics,” said Kevin White, athletics director at Duke University. “Allen will very quickly assimilate and become a stalwart within the heartbeat of the highly competitive SEC, as well as a serious leader nationally around the myriad of respective NCAA and CFP interests and future considerations. Allen and Christy Greene and their beautiful family, on a ten-point hiring scale, represent something like a 14!”
Auburn University President Steven Leath gave Greene the job after working with a search firm who honed in on the highly personable and passionate candidate.
“We looked for a charismatic, up-and-coming and elite leader to take Auburn Athletics into the future, and we found the very best in Allen Greene,” said Jason Dufner, a former Auburn Men’s Golf All-American, PGA Tour player and search committee member.
Green takes over at a university which has seen annual revenues grow to over $145 million under the leadership of Jacobs, and one which competes in the highly competitive SEC. But he has a plan.
“When I met with the search committee, I talked about three over-arching principles,” Green said. “Number one: It will be the student-athlete’s, not only their [athletic] experience, but their educational experience. (Auburn) is a place of higher-learning, a very quality higher-education institution. We want our young people to get a meaningful degree, and to graduate.
“Athletically, we want [student-athletes] to be very successful. Our mission is to provide our student-athletes and coaches every opportunity to win conference and national championships. We will invest ourselves to do so.
“Thirdly, and possibly most importantly, Auburn will stand for creating productive members of society. It’s incredibly important, particularly in today’s time, that we make sure (student-athletes) are well-equipped for the rigors and intensity of the real world. There is no greater time than right now, when you have so many people who are heavily invested and heavily involved in your success. The real world is a little bit different, and we want to make sure you are prepared for that.”
As a man of color, he understands his position, the current society we live in and the importance of diversity.
“We don’t all look alike, we don’t all act alike, we don’t all talk alike,” said the new AD. “We don’t all believe in the same things, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be teammates. That doesn’t mean we can’t be partners, brothers or sisters. So we will embrace a culture of diversity. We will embrace different beliefs. We will challenge one another to think differently, all to make Auburn a better University.”
With his enthusiasm and record of proven results, there’s no doubt he will do just that.