Archive for Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sources: Bubba Cunningham to be KU’s next athletic director

Tulsa athletic director Bubba Cunningham speaks to the Rotary Club of Tulsa in this January 2010 file photo. According to sources, Cunningham will be named the next athletic director at KU.

Tulsa athletic director Bubba Cunningham speaks to the Rotary Club of Tulsa in this January 2010 file photo. According to sources, Cunningham will be named the next athletic director at KU.

December 14, 2010, 3:50 p.m. Updated December 14, 2010, 9:57 p.m.


Bubba Cunningham timeline

1982-83 — Member of Notre Dame golf team

1984 — Earned bachelor’s degree in business administration from Notre Dame

1987-88 — Served as athletics department intern at Notre Dame

1988 — Earned master’s degree in business administration from Notre Dame

1988-93 — Served as Notre Dame’s ticketing and marketing manager

1993-95 — Became Notre Dame’s assistant athletic director/business manager

1995-2000 — Served as Notre Dame’s associate athletics director for finance and facilities

2000-02 — Served as Notre Dame’s associate director of athletics for external affairs

2002-05 — Accepted athletic director position at Ball State University

2005-10 — Became athletic director position at University of Tulsa

2010 — Reported to be Kansas University's next athletic director, replacing Lew Perkins

Kansas University has chosen Tulsa University’s Lawrence “Bubba” Cunningham as its next athletic director, according to sources, but as of Tuesday, the sources were unaware of a scheduled news conference to announce a successor to Lew Perkins.

The Tulsa World reported Tuesday on its website that KU would hold a news conference Wednesday or Thursday to announce the hiring.

“I think word would have gotten to me if that (a press conference today) was going to happen,” one Journal-World source said. “The last I had heard was that there would not be an announcement until after Christmas. I don’t know whether that will change.”

Tulsa faces Hawaii on Christmas Eve in the Hawaii Bowl, which might be a factor in why Cunningham preferred to delay the announcement.

Cunningham makes a weekly appearance on Tulsa radio station 1430 The Buzz at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Asked by the show host about reports he had accepted the A.D. job at Kansas, Cunningham didn’t tip his hand.

“I do not talk about it until there’s a change in employment status,” Cunningham said. “And there is not a change in employment status.”

Journal-World sources said Cunningham and Notre Dame Deputy Athletic Director Bill Scholl interviewed with Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little last week on the recommendation of a search committee that ranked Cunningham as its top choice.

Cunningham, 48, earned an undergraduate degree (1984) and master’s in business (1988) from Notre Dame. Cunningham has been at Tulsa for more than five years. Before that, he was A.D. at Ball State in Indiana for three years.

Born in Flint, Mich., and reared in Naples, Fla., Cunningham also worked 15 years in the athletic department at Notre Dame, where he played on the golf team.

His nickname, “Bubba,” comes from his childhood. Cunningham explained his nickname at his introductory press conference at Tulsa: “I have two older sisters, my first name is Lawrence or ‘Larry,’ same name as my father and my sisters couldn’t say brother. I was a short, fat little kid and it stuck. I have had that name ever since.

“By time I went to college, I thought this was an opportunity to go by my middle name. My middle name is Richard, so I would have been Richie Cunningham and I didn’t think that was a good option. I decided to stay with ‘Bubba.’”


beerbaron03 7 years, 6 months ago

Breaking news: Bubba needs a new nickname

Vinny1 7 years, 6 months ago

wow. Only a couple hours late to the party this time. Good job being on top of things in your own backyard LJWorld.

TheStonesSuck 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm liking how this guy worked his way up from the bottom, from intern to AD. Master's Degree and all. Here's to hoping he does a good job.

BobtheBuilder 7 years, 6 months ago

Good Luck Bubba. Maybe you can now make Lew pay for his tickets to all the sporting events. Why in the heck was Lew sitting next to the Chancellor at the Sprint center last weekend. There is something not right about that. She gives him $2 million to leave the University and then he sits right beside her. Also, noticed last women's game he was sitting on the floor with Larry Keating. He needs to get out of the picture altogether. Something smells stinky about this.

equalaccessprivacy 7 years, 6 months ago

Those yellow and black ties are hardly charming!

Danimal 7 years, 6 months ago

So much for having successful sports programs. I know Tulsa has been okay, and just okay, at several different sports recently so judging by Bubba's track record I would look for KU sports programs to take a nose dive into the sewer. I hope I'm wrong, but I think KU just shot itself in the foot. Seriously, we're going from one of the most successful (granted, also one of the most polarizing) ADs in college sports to some a-hole from Tulsa that no one has ever heard of. Great work KU, bang up job.

xclusive85 7 years, 6 months ago

wow, this reaction before he even gets to Lawrence. At least someone on here said that Lew was very successful as an AD, no matter what they thought of his morals. There is a stark difference between Tulsa's athletic department and our athletic department. One thing about Bubba. His time at Notre Dame will serve him well in his new opportunity here at Kansas. He worked through a huge athletic department there and will more than likely do a good job here. Remember, no matter what anyone thinks, Bubba's job will be to get the money to support athletics. The money pays for student athlete support staff, coaches, and facilities upgrades. The committee had several successful business minded individuals on it and for now I will trust their judgement that Bubba will be able to raise the money.

parrothead8 7 years, 6 months ago

2005-10 — Became athletic director position at University of Tulsa

I've heard of someone becoming an athletic director, but how, exactly, does one become an athletic director position?

ConcernedCynic 7 years, 6 months ago

Have you watched Fox News? I can't think of anything more pessimistic, angry and bitter than then network...

Matt Needham 7 years, 6 months ago

"...pessimistic, angry, bitter little people..."

Says the guy who has to bring up tax policy in a discussion on sports. Geez, let it go occasionally.

mom_of_three 7 years, 6 months ago

funny how you think only liberals are grumpy......

yankeevet 7 years, 6 months ago

Merry Xmas!!! this is good news..........

lllwll 7 years, 6 months ago

Bought a KU Basketball jersey for my granddaughter for christmas and wanted her name put on the back.

Was told we will have to get permission from KU.

This is so bad. Hire a damn begger off the street and pay 20.00 per day.

I am disgusted with KU and all you happy liberal so called fans and suck ups.

Boston_Corbett 7 years, 6 months ago

Yet you bought a jersey. I didn't know the Joe College issue was an issue which divided liberals/conservatives either.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 6 months ago

It is 10:30 pm Tuesday and the Kansas City channels are showing video of Mr. Cunningham denying that any deal has been finalized and refusing to comment on anything other that the TU football team that is in a bowl game.

Hey, Keiling, isn't this posting a little bit premature???? I heard it in the man's own words on Channel 9

parrothead8 7 years, 6 months ago

Six hours before the above post, someone's giving you grief about not getting the story out fast enough, now someone is giving you grief about getting the news out prematurely.

Danged if you do, danged if you don't, JK.

Pitt_Mackeson 7 years, 6 months ago

I don't like the looks of this. Not one bit. Lew was a great AD minus the ticket scandal part. We need a another Lew Perkins without the greed. No Bubba's aloud.

thesloss 7 years, 6 months ago

That's like saying Madoff was a great stock broker minus the Ponzi scheme.

hbjayhawk 7 years, 6 months ago

You got to be kidding me!!!!! Where the hell is our esteemed alumni and Williams Funds input?? This is what happens when you let the administrative wing of KUAC start making decisions. My goodness . . . we are going to be Iowa State in a few years looking for a home . . .

Richard Payton 7 years, 6 months ago

Sticks and stones may broke my bones but names will never hurt me - love Bubba.

missmagoo 7 years, 6 months ago

His name is Lawrence, what a coink-ie-dink. Sounds perfect to me, we'll call you that. My one year old's nickname is Bubba, so I will have to call you something else so I don't get confused. Or give him a complex.

Kontum1972 7 years, 6 months ago

gee i am glad the guy wasnt a wounded war veteran.....who worked his way through a higher education, after coming be offered a position as this telling what the majority of you would of said about him.

hb jayhawk...why dont u call the williams fund..and voice your complaint...i am sure they will give u the answer u seek...esp if your that unhappy...tell them u are pulling your $$$ ..its your money...

Fred Whitehead Jr. 7 years, 6 months ago

“I do not talk about it until there’s a change in employment status,” Cunningham said. “And there is not a change in employment status.”

This makes me think this is very fishy, and in today's edition of the JW rag, there was the statement that "he could still back out if he wanted" So why the wait until after Christmas. Anyone old enough to remember "Dewey defeats Truman"?????

This is not journalism, this is speculation from "sources"???????? I consider this sort of crap to be somewhat akin to the National Enquirer and it's ilk, speculation, imagination, grandstanding, but not solid journalism. Maybe the guy from the Sooner State (same place Bill Self and Mangino came from) will come here, but maybe he is checking out Laswrence, and if so, well, don't get too enthusiastic. Concentrate on the coronation of Josh Selby and his upcoming NBA career.

GatorBait 7 years, 6 months ago

Known Bubba a long time, one of those guys there's no reason not to like. Smart, personable, and much better athlete than only golf. Would be a good get for KU, ND may be sorry not to have him.

HonestAbe1981 7 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Armen Kurdian 7 years, 6 months ago

I have bad news. Bubba shot the jukebox last night. But, Bubba can dance, so I can to.

irvan moore 7 years, 6 months ago

hey, he's going to Hawaii for Christmas if he keeps the job he got for another week or so, missus be sayin "Bubba, you got some 'splainin" to do.

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