UNLV Athletic Director Kunzer-Murphy stepping down after June 2017

By Jonathan Cisowski | jcisowski@8newsnow.com

Published 10/24 2016 03:23PM

Updated 10/24 2016 05:32PM

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

The University of Nevada-Las Vegas announced that Athletic Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy has agreed to a six-month contract extension and will continue to lead the department until the conclusion of the 2016-17 Academic Year in June.

Kunzer-Murphy will then transition to a new position, focused primarily on fundraising, with the UNLV Foundation beginning July 1, 2017. Her original contract expires in December 2016 with the announcement made by school president Dr. Len Jessup.

“I was asked by President Jessup to continue serving as Director of Athletics until the conclusion of the 2016-17 academic year and appreciate having the opportunity to do so,” Kunzer-Murphy said. “I am fortunate and grateful to work with such an outstanding team of coaches, administrators and support personnel – all dedicated to serving our student-athletes and the wider university community. While we have accomplished a great deal together, there are exciting challenges ahead and I look forward to what we will achieve during the remainder of this academic year.

“I moved into this position in 2013 on an interim basis to help serve the University that I love so much. By the time I finish my work as AD in June, I will have had the pleasure of leading my alma mater’s Athletics Department for four wonderful years. I was here both during challenging times and thrilling milestones for the Rebels and am proud of our accomplishments on and off the field.”

“Tina’s unwavering commitment to UNLV, our athletics program, and our student athletes is simply unmatched,” said UNLV President Len Jessup. “Under her leadership as athletics director, our programs have been successful in competition, in the classroom, and in the community. As the first alum to lead UNLV Athletics, Tina has been and remains a stalwart ambassador for our university and we look forward to her continued service.”

A lifelong Las Vegas resident who earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNLV, Kunzer-Murphy has been leading the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics since July 1, 2013. The university has had many accomplishments in the athletic department during her that include the following:

• Significant improvements in academic performance, with all 17 sports now eligible for postseason competition; a marked improvement in the APR and grade point average for UNLV football; six programs (men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s basketball, women’s soccer, women’s tennis and volleyball) earning perfect APR scores of 1,000 for the most recent academic reporting year; and a Federal Graduation Rate that is 20 percentage points higher than the general student population at UNLV;

• Record-breaking fundraising, including the largest single gift in the history of UNLV Athletics – a $10 million pledge from the Fertitta Family to lead construction of the Fertitta Football Complex. That closely followed the announcement of the largest gift -- $2 million by a donor who wished to remain anonymous – ever pledged specifically for Rebel Football;

• Fundraising for, and construction of, the Anthony and Lindy Marnell III Baseball Clubhouse.  The $3.75 million, state-of-the-art facility will enable UNLV Baseball to consistently challenge for championships in the Mountain West and beyond;

• The establishment and formal recognition of the Runnin’ Rebels Club and Rebel Soccer Foundation, which provide critical financial and operational support for UNLV men’s basketball and men’s soccer, respectively;

• Further facility upgrades for men’s and women’s tennis, women’s soccer, men’s golf and academic advising;

• Careful management of financial resources, resulting in year-end surpluses in back-to-back fiscal years (FY 2015 and 2016);

• No major NCAA or Mountain West infractions;

• The appointment of new head coaches in football, men’s basketball, baseball, women’s soccer and men’s and women’s swimming;

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.