Joe Alleva

LSU athletic director Joe Alleva 

Joe Alleva has stepped down as LSU's athletic director, the university announced Wednesday afternoon, ending his 11-year career with at the university. 

Alleva will transition in to a new role as a special assistant to the president for donor relations, and he will be replaced by Texas A&M athletic director Scott Woodward. 

Alleva said the 11 years he and his wife, Annie, have spent in Baton Rouge "have been some of the best in our lives."

"We have made lifelong friends and memories in Louisiana," Alleva said in the joint statement. "This is truly a special place. It's been an honor to serve LSU, and I am proud to continue to do that in a new role."

All the key dates in Alleva's tenure are broken down below:

April 2008: Alleva is named LSU athletic director after a 10-year stint in the same capacity at Duke. Alleva succeeds the retiring Skip Bertman.

April 2008: The LSU Board of Supervisors approves Alleva’s five-year contract at $350,000 a year plus $200,000 “annual compensation” on an 11-2 vote. Board members Hank Gowen and John George cast the dissenting votes with Gowen saying he felt Alleva “was simply the wrong person for the job.”

April 2008: Alleva hires Trent Johnson as men’s basketball coach, giving him a five-year deal with a base salary of $1.2 million per season. Johnson is the first African American head coach in a men’s sport at LSU.

August 2009: The board of supervisors approves a promotion for Alleva, adding vice chancellor to his title. The move expands his role to the academic side of the university.

August 2010: Alleva oversees improvements to Tiger Stadium to preserve and enhance the 86-year-old venue. It includes new exterior windows, lighting, gates and championship plazas.

September 2010: LSU opens state-of-the-art $13.9 million basketball practice facility for its men’s and women’s programs. Groundbreaking on the nearly 59,000-square-foot facility is on July 1, 2008 — Alleva’s first official day on the job.

March 2011: Alleva is named to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, which selects the field for the NCAA tournament. His five-year term runs through the 2016 season.

April 2011: The board of supervisors extends Alleva’s contract for three more years through June 2016. The deal does not include a pay increase.

April 2011: Alleva reassigns women’s basketball coach Van Chancellor within the athletic department and hires Nikki Caldwell (now Fargas) of UCLA.

June 2011: Hires Alabama’s Pat Murphy to replace Yvette Girouard as LSU’s softball coach. Murphy, however, changes his mind two days later and announces he is staying at Alabama.

June 2011: After being rebuffed by Murphy, Alleva hires Beth Torina of Florida International to coach the softball team. Torina would lead her team to the Women’s College Series in four of her first six seasons on the job.

August 2011: A month after Alleva’s name is linked to the vacant A.D.’s job at Tennessee, the board of supervisors approves a pay hike that could net him up to $825,000 annually — including bonuses.

February 2012: Alleva announces that the Tiger Athletic Foundation board gives unanimous approval for a south end zone expansion of Tiger Stadium which is expected to bump capacity of the arena to just under 100,000.

April 2012: After Trent Johnson leaves for TCU, Alleva hires former LSU standout Johnny Jones as men’s basketball coach.

November 2012: Alleva gives football coach Les Miles a pay raise and seven-year contract extension, 24 hours after internet reports have Miles being offered a five-year, $27.5 million deal by Arkansas. Miles refutes the report and Alleva says he planned to give Miles, whose salary at the time was about $3.75 million, a raise and extension prior to Arkansas entering the picture.

May 2013: Alleva announces the addition of a sand volleyball program.

June 2013: Athletic department officials say it will begin the 2013-14 fiscal year with a budget projected to reach nine figures for the first time: $101 million.

October 2013: Ticket price increases go into effect for the 2014 football season and 2015 baseball season.

April 2014: Alleva unsuccessfully tries to get Southeastern Conference leaders to end permanent cross-division foes in football scheduling. LSU had played Florida every year since 1971.

September 2014: South end zone addition to Tiger Stadium opens. The $80 million project brings capacity in the stadium to 102,231, making it the sixth-largest on-campus facility in the nation.

September 2014: Alleva receives a three-year contract extension through July 2019 at $725,000 per year plus incentives that can take it up to $900,000. “I hope my future is to retire from here,” Alleva said. “That’s my goal.”

October 2015: Receives a one-year extension to July 2020 with no raise.

November 2015: Alleva announces minutes after a 19-7 win over Texas A&M in the season finale that Miles, who is carried off the field by his players in anticipation of his firing following a week of rampant speculation, will return in 2016.

February 2016: Opens state-of-the-art gymnastics practice facility and indoor/outdoor tennis facility.

September 2016: Miles, who assures Alleva he would modernize the offense, is fired less than 24 hours after a crushing 18-13 loss at Auburn. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron is named interim head coach and will “audition” for the permanent job the rest of the season.

November 2016: A chance to hire Houston football coach Tom Herman is missed when Herman decides to take the job at Texas, parlaying LSU’s interest into a fatter contract with UT.


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November 2016: After being rebuffed by Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and Herman, Alleva announces Orgeron as full-time coach after guiding the team to a 5-2 record. He would also win LSU’s bowl game against Louisville.

March 2017: Fires men’s basketball coach Johnny Jones, a former LSU player, two days after a 10-21 season. The Tigers are 2-16 in SEC play to cap the program’s worst season in a half-century.

March 2017: Hires up-and-coming 34-year-old coach Will Wade, who is at VCU for two seasons, to turn around the moribund program.

March 2018: Wade leads LSU to an 18-15 season and a spot in the National Invitation tournament, then has the fourth-best recruiting class in the nation to set up a big 2019 season.

October 2018: Wade’s name comes up in federal court in the fraud and conspiracy trial of two former Adidas executives and a recruiting middleman, whom Wade is caught on an FBI wiretap talking about potential recruits.

February 2019: Wade is reportedly subpoenaed to testify as a defense witness in the April bribery trial of Christian Dawkins, who had been convicted of fraud in the October trial and was sentenced to six months in prison.

March 2019: In the midst of LSU’s best season in a decade, Wade is named in national reports as being heard on a wiretap with Dawkins and talking about making a “strong-ass offer” for a prospect believed to be Scotlandville High School star Javonte Smart.

March 2019: One day after the Yahoo! Sports and ESPN reports about the offer to Smart, Alleva and Alexander announce Wade has been suspended indefinitely for declining to talk to university officials about the report. Less than a week later, Alleva says Wade will remain sidelined until he meets with school officials.

April 2019: With a new lawyer at his side, Wade agrees to a meeting, and, two days later, Alleva announces that the second-year coach had answered the university’s questions about the Yahoo report and had been reinstated.

Wednesday: LSU announces Alleva is stepping down as athletic director after nearly 11 full years on the job.


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Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter, @RabalaisAdv.​