Lawrence R. (Bubba) Cunningham is the next director of athletics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chancellor Holden Thorp introduced Cunningham, who has been the director of athletics at The University of Tulsa since 2005, Friday morning at a press conference at the Dean E. Smith Center.
The UNC Board of Trustees approved Cunningham’s hiring and contract Friday morning. Cunningham, 49, will begin his official duties November 1, 2011.
Cunningham is in his 10th year as a Division I director of athletics. In addition to his tenure at Tulsa, he was the AD for three years from 2002-2005 at Ball State University. He was honored as the 2008-09 FBS Central Region Athletics Director of the Year, an award presented by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Cunningham guided Tulsa through its initial move to Conference USA and spearheaded a $60 million athletics initiative, which included a $20 million renovation to Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium, a goal of $20 million for an athletics scholarship endowment and $20 million for coaches’ salary endowment.
He implemented and developed a strategic plan for personal and professional growth and development for Tulsa’s student-athletes, coaches and staff.
From 1988-2002, Cunningham worked in the athletics department at the University of Notre Dame. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration, both from Notre Dame, in 1984 and 1988, respectively. He played on the Irish golf team in 1982-83.
Born in Flint, Mich., and raised in Naples, Fla., Cunningham and his wife, Tina, have four children: Matthew, Michael, John and Sarah.