Robert Morris hires alumnus Chris King as athletic director
Chris King was named vice president and director of athletics at Robert Morris.
King’s ties to Western Pennsylvania stretch all the way to Apollo, where he grew up. He is a 1994 graduate of Robert Morris’ Sports Management Program. He also helped Alabama through a five-year NCAA probation sentence during a career in collegiate athletic administration that spans nearly a quarter-century and includes five schools.
Robert Morris officials said King, who since 2009 has been director of intercollegiate athletics at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (formerly the University of Texas-Pan American), was hired from among 100 candidates. He replaces Craig Coleman, who stepped down in December 2018 after 13 years as athletic director.
King will assume his position June 1 and will oversee Robert Morris’ 16 NCAA Division I sports.
“I’m honored and humbled to serve as the next director of athletics at Robert Morris University,” King said in a statement. “As an alumnus, I’m excited to have the opportunity to guide an athletics department with a championship culture and a history of success, and to be part of a team making a significant impact as part of a nationally ranked doctoral university.
“RMU played a profound role in my professional career and trajectory, and I am confident I would not be working in college athletics without the education and opportunities this institution provided to me 25 years ago.”
King, who was named 2018 NACDA Under Armour Division I-AAA Athletic Director of the Year Award, led Texas Rio Grande Valley into the Western Athletic Conference in 2013. The men’s basketball team has made two consecutive postseason appearances, and the women’s basketball team has reached the postseason in four of the past five years.
Since joining the conference, Texas Rio Grande Valley has won four team and 32 individual WAC championships.
“Chris King will take RMU athletics to the next level,” RMU president Chris Howard said. “He prizes above all else the student-athlete experience, and his achievements at UTRGV and throughout his career will bring an unparalleled level of leadership to our athletics program.”
King previously worked at Central Florida, where he was assistant athletic director for compliance and assistant athletic director; and Alabama, where he was associate athletic director of compliance and associate athletic director for administration. He also worked at Campbell and Liberty.
“Chris has got a lot of energy,” said Oliver Luck, CEO and commissioner of the XFL and the former NCAA executive vice president and athletic director at West Virginia. “He’s very personable. He thrives on having big initiatives and carrying those out.”
Luck co-chaired a football feasibility committee King formed at Texas Rio Grande Valley.
King will be introduced at a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Harshman Rotunda of Robert Morris’ UPMC Events Center.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .