Duke will become third team in Power Five conference with woman as athletic director

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 20, 2021

By Aaron Beard

AP Sports Writer

Duke is promoting Nina King to become the school’s next athletic director.

The school’s announcement Wednesday means King will become only the third Black woman working as an athletic director in the Power Five conferences, joining Carla Williams at fellow Atlantic Coast Conference school Virginia and Candice Lee at Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference.

She will also be the first woman to serve as Duke’s athletic director, officially taking over Sept. 1 after the retirement of Kevin White.

Yahoo Sports first reported news of King’s hiring. The school will hold an introductory news conference for King on Friday.

King, 42, is currently a senior deputy athletic director for administration and legal affairs as well as chief of staff, working on White’s staff at Duke since 2008.

In her time at Duke, Nina has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, earning the esteem of our coaches, student-athletes, athletics staff and colleagues in athletics departments across the country,” Duke president Vincent Price said in a statement, adding: “I can imagine no better person to carry on Kevin White’s exceptional record at Duke.”

King’s duties have included daily operation and oversight of the athletic  department as well as oversight and planning for special projects. She has been in charge of primary administrative duties for the Blue Devils’ football and women’s basketball programs.

“This is a tremendous honor, and I look forward to ushering Duke Athletics into the next chapter,” King said in a statement.

Beyond Duke, King served last season as chairwoman of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee that selects and seeds the tournament field. She has one year remaining on that committee and also serves on numerous school and ACC committees.

“She has represented (Duke) with distinction both internally and externally, including many roles on the national stage,” Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “That national presence is important in our school’s leadership position in an ever-changing college sports environment. Personally, I have enjoyed working with Nina and look forward to working with her even more in the future.”

Before joining Duke, King had worked with White at Notre Dame as director of rules education. She also co-teaches a sports business course in Duke’s Fuqua School of Business as part of an MBA program alongside White.

White announced in January that he would retire this summer after nearly 13 years leading the Blue Devils’ 27-sport program.