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Press Release for Wednesday, February 4, 2009

UNF Announces Lee Moon as New UNF Director of Athletics

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

Contact: Shawn Lafata, Director
Athletics Media Relations
(904) 718-3208

University of North Florida President John A. Delaney announced today the hiring of Lee Moon as the University’s director of Athletics. Moon—who becomes UNF’s sixth director of Athletics—comes from the University of Alabama Birmingham, where he has served as the senior associate athletics director since January 1, 2004.

Moon will be officially introduced to the UNF community, athletic boosters and members of the media by President Delaney on Thursday, Feb. 5, at 3 p.m. at a reception that will be held on the second floor of the UNF Arena. Media parking will be available on the north side of the Arena behind the building.

“We’re so excited to have Lee Moon on our home court and joining the UNF team,” Delaney said. “We feel that Lee is the most qualified individual to lead our student-athletes in competing at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics.”

Moon is the former director of Athletics at Wyoming (1996-2003) and Marshall (1988-96) and brings athletics administrative experience with him from four different universities. He also served as an assistant athletics director (1985-86) and associate athletics director (1986-1988) at Kansas State.

“I’m very excited about coming to UNF at such a monumental time in the athletic program’s history,” Moon said. “I have a goal of building the athletic program to the point of national recognition. Many of UNF’s academic programs, such as the Jazz Program, have gained a stellar reputation and I’m optimistic that UNF Athletics can have that type of positive exposure as well.”

While at Wyoming, Moon was responsible for a $15 million budget and helped secure the largest financial donation – $4.3 million for the naming rights of the student-athletic center – in the history of the institution. He also helped secure a $2 million donation at Marshall for naming rights to a similar facility.

While at Marshall, Moon was responsible for the hiring of Billy Donovan, who later went on to win two national championships at Florida, and Dana Altman, who is the current head coach at Creighton and has led the Blue Jays to the NCAA Tournament seven times.

Moon is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, where he earned a bachelor’s of science degree in history in 1970. While at VMI, Moon was a member of the school’s football team from 1966-1969. He later went on to play semi-pro football for the Roanoke Buckskins before earning his master of education degree at the University of Virginia in 1971.

After earning his master’s degree and serving as a graduate assistant coach for the Virginia football team during the 1972 and 1973 seasons, Moon served as an assistant football coach at Duke (1973-76), Virginia (1976-1981), Mississippi State (1982-1984) and Kansas State (1985), where he was named the interim head football coach and also served as the assistant director of operations for the football team.

Throughout his career, Moon has served on various NCAA leadership committees such as the Division I Athletic Directors Association Executive Committee, the NCAA Football Issues Committee, as well as serving as chair of the Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Committee.

Moon will succeed Dr. Richard Gropper, who has served as the UNF Director of Athletics since the fall of 1994. Upon Moon’s arrival later this month, Gropper will take on the role of UNF Director of Athletics Emeritus, serving as a fundraiser for the athletics department and other parts of the University until his planned retirement in 2011.

Moon has been married to the former Connie Gray since 2005. He has two sons, Lee Moon, Jr., who is an assistant men’s basketball coach at Fresno State, and Brian, who is doing his medical school residency at West Virginia University.

UNF is currently in the final year of its transition to the NCAA Division I level. UNF’s Athletic Department houses 17 different men’s and women’s NCAA Division I sports, with all but one—women’s swimming and diving—competing in the Atlantic Sun Conference.