Auburn has hired Allen Greene, who currently serves as the athletic director at the University of Buffalo, as its 15th athletic director in program history following the resignation of current AD Jay Jacobs in November.
Greene, who has served as Buffalo's AD since 2015, has made major strides for the school's athletic program, including raising funds for an $18 million indoor football practice facility.
“Allen kicks off the next exciting chapter for Auburn Athletics,” Auburn President Steven Leath said. “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 is a graduate of Notre Dame, where he played baseball for the Irish as a three-year starter. Following his time in South Bend, Greene was selected by the New York Yankees in the 1998 MLB Draft. He later went back to school, and earned his master's degree from Indiana University.
“Serving Auburn University as Director of Athletics is a tremendous honor and an awesome responsibility," Greene said. “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.”
Greene has worked in the SEC, as he worked alongside Danny White, the chief development officer for the UMAA Foundation at Ole Miss, from 2009-12. He followed White to Buffalo in 2012 to work alongside White as he became the Bulls’ AD.
The 40-year-old is one of the youngest, and most well-renown in the business.
“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."
Leath and the University employed Parker Search Firm, among others, to make their AD selection. The committee was spearheaded by former Auburn letterman Gaines Lanier, a member of Auburn's Board of Trustees and the Tigers Unlimited Board.
The committee's vice-chair was former Auburn women's golf coach Kim Evans. Other members of Auburn's search unit included former Auburn gymnast AJ Lee, Auburn finance professor Beverly Marshall and former All-SEC linebacker Quentin Riggins.
“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.
Greene is the first African-American to become Auburn’s athletic director. He replaces Jacobs, who served the position since 2005. An Auburn alumnus, Jacobs led Auburn to 12 national championships and 25 conference titles in its athletic programs.
In Jacobs' 12 years, annual revenues skyrocketed from $46 million to over $145 million. Jacobs was tabbed a 2017 NACDA / Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year, and was a finalist for the 2017 Sports Business Journal AD of the Year award.
In line with Jacobs' "the best school for the best athletes" mantra, Auburn saw student-athlete graduates reach a graduation success rate of 80 percent during Jacobs' time, the highest such mark in program history.