Julio Freire selected as UT Martin athletics director
Contact 1: Bud Grimes
MARTIN, Tenn. — Julio Freire, most recently senior associate athletics director for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has been named athletics director for the University of Tennessee at Martin. An advisory search committee chose from among four finalists and recommended Freire for the position to Dr. Tom Rakes, university chancellor. Freire will succeed Phil Dane, who will retire as the university’s athletics director effective Dec. 31, 2013.
Freire’s appointment is expected to be finalized by the end of December. He will be introduced to the community and the media in early January and is expected to begin his duties later that month.
“Julio emerged as a strong choice from among an excellent pool of candidates,” Rakes said. “He possesses the experience, knowledge and energy to lead the UT Martin’s athletics program.”
At UNLV, Freire was heavily involved in internal operations, fundraising and ticketing. Among his successes, he led the fundraising team that more than doubled the donor base and annual donations in three years. He is no stranger to the Ohio Valley Conference of which UT Martin is a member, having served two successful years as associate athletics director for development at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville.
“On behalf of my family, I am thrilled with the opportunity to serve as the director of athletics at UT Martin,” Freire said. “As a former student-athlete, educator and intercollegiate athletics administrator, I understand the importance and influence of our work.”
Freire said that he “was struck with the strong sense of community and desire to succeed” when he visited the campus and sees the university positioned to build on the athletics program’s success.
“We have an incredible opportunity to embrace comprehensive excellence in all our actions, all in support of the educational mission of the university,” he added. “We will be fully committed to our student-athletes and embrace the responsibility to assist them as they develop their fullest potential from an academic, athletic and social perspective.”
Kevin White, vice president and director of athletics for Duke University, said that UT Martin “made an exceptional hire in Julio Freire.”
White added, “He (Julio) will bring immeasurable experience, particularly in fundraising, from a variety of top-notch institutions to the position. Most importantly, he will exhibit tremendous passion and an unwavering commitment to excellence every day that will greatly benefit the Tennessee-Martin athletics family for years to come.”
UT Martin competes in NCAA Division I in both men’s and women’s sports and the Football Championship Subdivision. In addition to 14 NCAA-affiliated athletics teams, the university sponsors the only collegiate rodeo team in Tennessee. The rodeo team is a member of the Ozark Region and the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association.
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