Joe Alleva and his wife, Annie, joined the LSU family on April 4, 2008. As athletic director, Alleva was in charge of 21 sports and managed a budget of around $130 million. In 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported the LSU football program ranked among the top five most valuable teams, with a valuation of almost $1 billion, joining Ohio State, Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama. It’s a tough job and a big business these days.
As a former member of the LSU Board of Supervisors, I had the pleasure of getting to know Joe and Annie Alleva. Alleva has handled his recent transition professionally and with class.
“The 11 years Annie and I have been here in Baton Rouge have been some of the best in our lives,” he said. “We have made lifelong friends and memories in Louisiana. This is truly a special place. It’s been an honor to serve LSU.”
And what about those who worked everyday with Alleva? Here’s what some of his coaches have to say:
“On the first day Joe Alleva was on campus he recognized the need to upgrade existing, repair old, and build new facilities if LSU was going to compete in the SEC and the nation. His commitment to all sports permeates throughout the entire athletic department. His commitment to Olympic and women’s sports at LSU is best exemplified through the LSU Gymnastics Training Center and the success of LSU’s gymnastics team. Joe was committed to giving coaches and student-athletes the tools they needed to succeed. I will personally be forever grateful for all Joe has done to make LSU athletics what it is today.”
—D-D Breaux, gymnastics coach, in her 41st year at LSU
“Anytime someone dedicates 11 years of their life to an institution, they deserve a big ‘thank you’ from the people who worked for him. Joe always gave the baseball program the resources that were necessary to be successful on the field. I’m happy we could deliver a national championship in our sport under his leadership and during his tenure.”
—Paul Mainieri, baseball coach
“Over the past decade our men’s golf team has enjoyed tremendous success. I’m grateful to Joe for his support and for leading an athletic department that provided us with the tools to win championships.”
—Chuck Winstead, golf coach
“I will always be grateful to Joe Alleva for giving me the opportunity to have my dream job as the head coach of the LSU Tigers.”
—Ed Orgeron, football coach
“No words will ever express my gratitude for what Joe Alleva has done for me. This opportunity has truly changed my life. Through his support and commitment to excellence he has helped LSU softball operate consistently as one of the top softball programs in the country. I am truly thankful for Joe.”
—Beth Torina, softball coach
For me, these comments speak volumes, and carry much more weight about the job done than the noise online or from some on the LSU board.
As Alleva concludes his tenure as LSU athletic director, he hands the ball to Baton Rouge native Scott Woodward, who inherits an accomplished and financially-sound department. Woodward has been a friend for more than 30 years, since Buddy Roemer became governor. He is a good guy, an LSU Tiger—and I wish him much success.
I was thinking what could be some new goals for LSU athletics, other than just beating Nick Saban. What about this list of 10 goals to consider:
• Successfully manage the department’s finances and operations, making LSU one of the nation’s top 10 programs in revenue, tickets sales and commitment to student-athletes.
• Strive to have LSU capture 18 SEC titles, win 48 individual NCAA championships and claim 124 individual SEC championships.
• In the classroom, LSU athletes should make historic strides in graduation rates with a 31% increase over next 10 years, reaching an all-time high of 90%.
• Implement “Geaux Givers,” a community outreach program that would have student-athletes spend thousands of hours in the community each year. LSU student-athletes should log over 4,100 hours in community service.
• LSU should connect with former student-athletes through the L-Club program, and grow it to an all-time high of 1,100 active members.
• Institute “Project Graduation,” a plan in which former student-athletes return to LSU to finish their degree.
• Consider expanding and renovating Tiger Stadium, add plazas and lighting, improve restrooms and concessions.
• Build new or renovate existing facilities like a gymnastics practice facility, a tennis center, a beach volleyball facility, track & field offices, a nutrition center for LSU student-athletes, a softball performance center, a football operations center and a major renovation of the University Club golf course.
• Enhance the fan experience with large video boards for basketball, baseball and softball.
• Be active on a national level, with the athletic director serving on the prestigious NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee, as well as the Football Bowl Certification Committee, the NCAA Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet and SEC committees.
Oh, I just realized something. LSU will have to come up with their own top 10 priorities because Joe Alleva already accomplished those listed above. Yes, all of them. Well done. Thanks, Joe. Geaux Tigers.
A true entrepreneur
Last month, a good man passed away who was a role model for entrepreneurs in the minority community: W.E. “Bill” Tucker Jr.
We became friends when Bill started in the radio business with Peter Moncrieff. Bill founded a number of business ventures in his 39-year career including: Citywide Broadcasting Corporation, which sold its nine radio stations to Citadel Communications Corporation in 1999; W. E. Tucker Companies, a real estate services, construction-development and financial services organization; acquiring ownership of WETCO Restaurant Group LLC, a franchise of Church’s Chicken restaurants in Louisiana, Georgia and Tennessee, which sold in 2008; and launching his fourth entrepreneurial venture as president and CEO of WETCO Capital LLC.
But Bill also gave back to the community he loved. He founded the W. E. Tucker Family Foundation, which in 1999 gave a $1 million endowment to the Southern University Educational Foundation. He also served in many professional organizations, governmental commissions and community service activities.
Finally, Bill was a family man—married for 40 years to Jackie and a father to five children—and his faith was his foundation. He made his mark and set a fine example.
We salute the 10 Influential Women in Business featured in the May 7 edition of Business Report. They are making an impact and leading the way in many sectors—and we appreciate all they do for our community.
Business Report is pleased to honor, support and serve women in business and leadership in the Capital Region. And I want to thank all of the talented women in our company who make Business Report, 225, inRegister, 10/12 Industry Report and Daily Report possible.