The 2018-19 season marks the sixth year as athletics director at Nevada for Doug Knuth. In five seasons at Nevada, Knuth has overseen significant achievement in the department’s academic successes, investment in facilities and resources and led the department to multiple team championships as a member of the Mountain West Conference.
Knuth became Nevada’s eighth director of athletics in April of 2013. As special assistant to the president and director of athletics, he brings more than 25 years of professional experience and achievement in athletics administration.
Recent facilities upgrades on campus include the renovation of the Lombardi Recreation Center to a hew athletics facility that houses a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning center as well as the Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center. Coming this year is the Jensen Plaza, a grand new entry point to Mackay Stadium, and planned upgrades to Don Weir Field at Peccole Park and Hixson Park.
Nevada’s student-athletes continue to thrive and grow and there’s no greater evidence than the results in the classroom. The Wolf Pack has posted record numbers of graduates under Knuth’s tenure and the Wolf Pack’s scores in the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and Academic Progress Report (APR) are at record highs.
Knuth has overseen all of Nevada’s Mountain West championships to date, with all five coming from coaches hired by Knuth – baseball in 2015 and swimming/diving in 2016. His hire of Eric Musselman has transformed the men’s basketball team as the Wolf Pack won Mountain West championships in 2016-17 (regular season and tournament) and 2017-18. And Knuth’s second hire for the Nevada baseball team, T.J. Bruce, delivered another conference championship in the spring of 2018.
In early 2013, University President Marc Johnson selected Knuth following a national search that featured a pool of talented, diverse candidates. The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents and the regents approved his recommendation on March 14, 2013. Knuth received a three-year extension, with unanimous approval from the Regents, on March 4, 2016.
“Doug has tremendous experience and enthusiasm for college athletics and he has a great understanding of the role of education and athletics in the lives of our student-athletes,” Johnson said at the time of Knuth’s hire. “He is a proven fundraiser who has had success in generating both traditional and entrepreneurial revenue streams. He is also very familiar with the Mountain West Conference and the challenges of conference realignment, and I am confident that Doug is the right person to continue the successes and tradition of Wolf Pack Athletics.”
Previous facilities accomplishments at Nevada include the $11.5 million renovation to 50-year-old Mackay Stadium in 2015-16. The initial piece of the project was completed in 2015 and the major phase was in place for the 2016 season — a new stadium club, loge seating and the addition of chairback seating in seven sections to increase the fan gameday experience. The work also saw new ADA accessible seating areas in recent years and the widening of aisles with the installation of handrails to increase safety at the stadium.
Knuth also brought on board new facilities for the tennis and track programs, with six new on-campus tennis courts at the McArthur Tennis Complex and a new throws facility developed on the eastern edge of campus, next to Hixson Park. And a sparkling new silver and blue track circles Chris Ault Field at Mackay Stadium. The projects came on the heels of new FieldTurf installation at Wolf Pack Park, locker room upgrades for women’s soccer, track and field, cross country, football and both basketball programs, as well as an enhanced indoor golf training center.
Prior to Nevada, Knuth spent the previous eight years at the University of Utah as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Relations. He led Utah to record fundraising in each of the last seven years. He led the Utes’ fundraising, marketing and ticketing efforts and oversaw the corporate partner program and athletics licensing/merchandising. He was also the primary liaison to University Development and Advancement. Knuth served as a member of Utah’s senior staff, participating in strategic planning, objectives and goals and policies and procedures in addition to administrative oversight over the sports of women’s basketball and men’s and women’s tennis.
He successfully launched a $150 million comprehensive athletics campaign and doubled the Utes’ annual fund in five years. Knuth also took a leadership role in the strategic planning process of Utah’s $1.2 billion university capital campaign. He is a member of the prestigious I-A Athletic Director’s Association Fellows Program, served on the NCAA Tennis Committee from 2007-10 and has held leadership roles in the National Association of Athletic Development Directors since 2010.
Prior to Utah, Knuth served as the assistant athletics director for development at Michigan State for five years and was responsible for the annual giving program. He also managed major gifts associated with the expansion of Spartan Stadium through suite and club seats sales.
He started his career in athletics administration and fundraising at the University of Connecticut and also spent time at the University of Massachusetts and Ohio University. Knuth earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at the University of Connecticut in 1994 where he was also a four-year letter winner and captain on the men’s tennis team.
He holds master’s degrees in sports administration and facility management from Ohio University (1998) and business administration from Northwood University (2002). A native of Fairfield, Conn., Knuth is the father to two children, Gabby and Lance.