'This is a tremendous honor': Duke tabs Nina King as first female athletic director

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Duke has promoted Nina King to be the school's next athletic director on Wednesday, replacing Kevin White, who announced in January that he will retire at the end of August.

“I am thrilled that Nina will be our Vice President and Director of Athletics,” said Duke president Vincent Price in a statement. “In her time at Duke, Nina has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, earning the esteem of our coaches, student-athletes, athletics staff and colleagues in athletics departments across the country."

Currently, the ACC’s longest-tenured AD, White, 70, has been Duke’s athletic director since 2008 when he replaced Joe Alleva.

King, who joined the Blue Devils in 2008, has most recently served as senior deputy AD for administration/legal affairs and chief of staff. She was named to Sports Business Journal's Forty Under 40 and Leaders Under 40 in 2018.

Nina King, left, has been named Duke's new athletic director.
Nina King, left, has been named Duke's new athletic director.

Among Power 5 institutions, King joins Vanderbilt’s Candice Storey Lee and Virginia’s Carla Williams as Black female directors of athletics. She is the first woman and person of color to hold the position at Duke.

"I am deeply committed to continuing the strong tradition of academic and athletic excellence at our world-class institution," King said in a statement. "My priority will be to ensure that the experience is truly elite for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the entire Duke family. This is a tremendous honor, and I look forward to ushering Duke Athletics into the next chapter.”

King will likely face the prospect of hiring replacements for both the men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, 74, and football coach David Cutcliffe, who’ll turn 68 in September.

"This hire is an important step for the continuity of the outstanding culture that exists within Duke Athletics," Krzyzewski said in a statement. "Serving as one of Kevin White’s most trusted advisors for his entire time at Duke, Nina King has served our University well in whatever roles have been assigned to her. She has represented the Duke Department of Athletics with distinction both internally and externally, including many roles on the national stage. That national presence is important in our school’s leadership position in an ever-changing college sports environment. Personally, I have enjoyed working with Nina and look forward to working with her even more in the future.”

David Thompson can be reached at dthompson1@gannett.com or on Twitter at @daveth89.

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Duke: Nina King becomes first female athletic director at school