CBS INTERVIEW: TU Interim Athletic Director Ross Parmley, center, is interviewed Oct. 15 during the Tulsa-UAB game on CBS College Sports by Rich Rodriguez and Dave Ryan. The game was broadcast nationally.
University of Tulsa President Steadman Upham has announced that Deputy Director of Athletics Ross Parmley will serve as interim athletic director, pending the appointment of a new president. Thereafter, a national search for a new athletic director will occur.
The announcement comes following the resignation of TU Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham, who was named the athletics director at the University of North Carolina.
Cunningham, who joined TU as Director of Athletics in October 2005, leaves the University after six years. During his tenure, Cunningham guided Tulsa through its infancy of membership in Conference and spearheaded a $60 million athletics initiative. Not only has Tulsa won a league-best 34 C- titles in his tenure, but more than 170 student-athletes have earned C- Honor Roll accolades each year for the past five seasons.
“Bubba Cunningham’s service to The University of Tulsa has been marked by exceptional progress,” said TU President Steadman Upham. “His leadership resulted in unprecedented achievement by our student-athletes, including 34 Conference championships, and increased national visibility for our athletic programs and university. He brought a wealth of energy and talent to the job, and we deeply appreciate his work. I know all of us at TU wish him well in his position at the University of North Carolina.”
“We’re excited to have someone of Ross’ abilities continue to lead our athletic program,” Upham says. “He has been closely involved in every aspect of our athletics department under Bubba’s leadership and has proven to be a tremendous asset to our coaches and student-athletes. With the quality of coaches and administrators we have at TU, I am confident we will sustain our remarkable momentum.”
Prior to being named deputy director of athletics this fall, Parmley served as the associate athletics director for operations and administration since June 2007. He served as the director of the Golden Hurricane Club in 2007 on an interim basis as the fundraising arm of athletics surpassed its goal of $1.7 million.
During his tenure, Parmley has been responsible for the supervision of the athletic business office, ticket office, equipment staff and game day operations as well as overseeing the development and supervision of the annual athletic department budget. He has had sport supervision for tennis and golf and served as the lead person for the planning and coordination of the TU golf practice facility at Patriot Golf Course. Parmley has been responsible for revising TU’s athletic department policies and procedures. He has also worked closely with the Academic Services staff on the successful pursuit of maintaining above guidelines.
Parmley served as the tournament director for the 2008 Division I Tennis Championships and several Conference Championships, as well as serving as tournament manager for the 2011 Basketball Tournament, second and third Rounds at the Center.
In addition, Parmley was involved in developing the fundraising plan for athletic department needs for the TU Capital Campaign in 2007, including the development of a scholarship committee, coaching endowment and H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Parmley moved into the athletics administrative role after two seasons in the football department. He was the director of football operations in 2005 and served as the assistant athletic director for football operations in 2006.
Before coming to Tulsa, Parmley spent four years as the director of athletics for the Norman Public Schools. He supervised more than 65 athletic programs and 200 coaching positions in the Norman School District.
“I’m sincerely appreciative of the opportunity that President Upham and the university have given me,” Parmley says. “This is a great time to be a part of The University of Tulsa and the athletics department. Our student-athletes perform at a very high level both athletically and academically, and we will continue those ideals front and center as we move forward.”
“I’m grateful to Bubba for the leadership and guidance he has provided our department, as well as the confidence he has had in my abilities,” adds Parmley.
Parmley, 38, earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cameron University, and he received his master’s degree in sports management from the University of Oklahoma.
He and his wife, Heather, have two children: daughter Jordyn Kate and son Blake.