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David Walker Named UL Director of Athletics

David Walker was named the new Director of Athletics for Louisiana-Lafayette on Tuesday.
David Walker Named UL Director of Athletics
Athletics  07/17/2007 Courtesy RaginCajuns.com
  LAFAYETTE David Walker will be quitting half of his day job at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He’s accepted an offer to make his second day job permanent.
Pending approval by the UL System Board of Supervisors, Walker will become the newest athletic director for Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns. He replaces Nelson Schexnayder who resigned his position in 2005.  Walker divided his time between Athletics as interim director and Auxiliary Services as director for two years. 
“Some of the most important duties in directing athletics is negotiations and funding,” Louisiana-Lafayette President Ray Authement said. “David is a veteran at both of these functions.”
Authement credits Walker with immediately tackling budgetary issues like increasing money guaranteed to Louisiana-Lafayette for away games and quickly finding a way to finance summer school scholarships. As interim, Walker also worked closely with Gerald Hebert, Athletics Development officer, on improving athletic facilities and cultivating major donors.
“The Athletic Department is very fortunate to have outstanding coaches and a very dedicated staff,” Walker said.  “The potential is enormous and our goal will be to reach that potential.”
Most recently, Walker worked closely with Authement in developing a formula passed by the state Board of Regents earlier this month that allows a larger percentage of the operating budget to be dedicated to athletics. It replaces restrictions put in place following the oil bust during the 1980s.
“This is a significant step in helping to put our athletic program on an even field with other Division I programs,” Walker said. “These changes will give us the ability to provide the resources our programs need to be competitive.
“I am still amazed at what Dr. Authement and Nelson Schexnayder were able to accomplish with the restrictions placed on them by the old policy.  As I have become familiar with other athletic programs around the country, I have come to appreciate how very fortunate we are to have a president, a supporter, and a fan like Dr. Authement.  I appreciate the confidence he has shown in me by this appointment,” Walker said.
The search committee, led by Hunter Trahan, consisted of business leaders from throughout Acadiana along with members of Louisiana-Lafayette’s administration.
“It has truly been an honor to lead and work with such a diverse and outstanding group of people who really have Louisiana-Lafayette athletics’ best interests in mind,” Trahan said. “David Walker has demonstrated his ability to make the most of every opportunity while gaining the respect of the coaching staff, the Sun Belt Conference and fans. He was the ideal choice for this position.”
Walker is a graduate of Louisiana-Lafayette and has served in the administration for nearly 30 years.
As athletic director, he will be responsible for personnel supervision, budget and policy management, contract negotiations, football game scheduling, contract approval of all athletic contests, ticket pricing, facility management, NCAA rules compliance and alumni, fan and donor relations. While serving as interim, Walker hired Errol Rogers as the new Women’s Basketball coach and Steve Silvey as the new Track and Field coach.
He also represents the Sun Belt Conference on the executive board of the New Orleans Bowl.
AN Footnote:  See David Walker’s profile for additional stories about his appointment.