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By Bryan Rosenbaum
Arizona Summer Wildcat
June 9, 1999
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Keren Tully
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Jim Livengood, UA athletic director, won the athletic director of the year award from the inaugural National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics/Continental Airlines Division IA. Livengood will be presented the award in Reno, Nev. on June 14.

Arizona Summer Wildcat

UA Athletic Director Jim Livengood was given the inaugural National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics/Continental Airlines Division IA athletic director of the year award.

Livengood is the only Division IA award winner, and will receive the award June 14 at NACDA's convention in Reno, Nev.

"I'm honored my peers chose to select me," he said. "It helps to let us know the program is going in the right direction.

"This says a lot about the University of Arizona and Wildcat athletics. I feel very fortunate and honored."

Livengood became the UA athletic director in 1994 and has won widespread praise for bringing Arizona to national prominence. The 1997 men's basketball NCAA National Championship and 1998 Culligan Holiday Bowl win over Nebraska are only the start of good things to come for UA athletics, Livengood said.

"The visibility the athletic department has attained has helped us in our recruiting and national exposure," said Dick Tomey, UA football head coach. "The greatest part for me is being associated with coaches we have in all the sports, men's or women's."

Livengood said being athletic director is a demanding but rewarding job.

"My favorite part of the job is when I get to spend time with the student-athletes," he said. "When I get down after long meetings, all I have to do is go see them and realize what I'm doing.

"I really have to thank our coaches, staff and student-athletes, because they make these kind of things possible. We're a long way from where we want to be, but it's nice to be recognized."

The award was established to "highlight the efforts of athletic directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to colleges/universities and their surrounding communities," said Mike Cleary, NACDA executive director. "The program brings to light the exceptional jobs done by athletics directors. These winners exemplify that they each go above and beyond the call of duty."