McNeese State named Bruce Hemphill as its new athletic director Thursday.

Hemphill was former associate athletics director at Wyoming and served as an assistant to the athletic director at North Carolina. He officially begins his new duties Aug. 22, the university said.

Hemphill succeeds Tommy McClelland, who resigned in July to accept the athletics director position at Louisiana Tech.

McNeese associate athletic director and compliance coordinator Bridget Martin served as interim athletics director and chaired the search process.

“Bruce’s years of experience in collegiate athletics administration positioned him as the front runner in the search process,” she said

The Sulphur native has 24 years of administrative experience at the college and high school levels. He supervised 10 of 17 programs offered at a major Division I university and was responsible for budget oversight, game operations, facilities, personnel, compliance, team travel and recruiting.

More than 35 candidates applied for the position, and the committee conducted interviews via Skype or phone with six applicants, including Hemphill. He was the only finalist invited to interview on campus.

“It is rare to have one candidate pull head and shoulders away from all applicants so early in the search process,” McNeese President Philip Williams said. “Bruce is a unique find and meets every criteria that we were seeking in an athletics director.”

Hemphill said he wants to be innovative in developing a long-range plan and build on the success and traditions of McNeese athletics.

“I plan to immerse myself in the history of McNeese State University and McNeese athletics and to meet with as many people as possible to determine what is good for McNeese,” he said.