MORROW — Since moving to Georgia three years ago, Tim Duncan has enjoyed a good working relationship with Peach Belt Conference commissioner David Brunk and Georgia Regents University athletic director Clint Bryant.
It seems Clayton State has gained a new athletics director through that friendship. Earlier this week, Duncan was named the school’s third athletic director.
Duncan, a Memphis native and former athletics director at Paine College in Augusta, said he became interested in the Clayton State job after talking with Brunk and Bryant.
Duncan will succeed Clayton State’s women’s soccer coach Gareth O’Sullivan, who had served as the Lakers interim athletics director since February. O’Sullivan was named to the post after after Carl McAloose accepted a similar position at Edison State College in Fort Myers, Fla., in February.
Prior to his appointment to the Clayton State job, Duncan was the athletic director at Paine College in Augusta. He will start his new position on August 1.
“We are fortunate to have Mr. Tim Duncan join our university leadership team,” Clayton State President Tim Hynes said in a statement released by the school. “Mr. Duncan brings a combination of experiences that will support our long-term commitment to academic success for student-athletes as a part of a tradition of athletic success, including nationally competitive teams.”
At Paine, Duncan oversaw the 11-sport athletic program that competes in the NCAA Div. II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which includes Atlanta school Morehouse and Clark Atlanta University. Duncan was instrumental in helping the athletic department launch its football program, which will compete for the first time this school year.
“I think this is a wonderful opportunity for me and my family,” Duncan said via cellphone earlier this week. “I like the direction that Dr. Hynes has provided at Clayton State. We seem to have a good relationship, and that is key for this position. Talking with him and others, it peaked my interest in the position.”
In addition to helping start the football program, Duncan is also credited with Paine improving the academic profile of its student-athletes who earned a 3.0 grade point average or higher by nearly 40 percent.
In addition to the improvement of the academic standards, he also revived the Lions’ football program following a 50-year absence. The 2012 athletics program finished third in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Commissioner’s Cup standings, the highest finish for Paine since 2004.
“Academics is a huge part of my job, because I’m in education,” Duncan said. “We have to make sure all the resources are in place for our student-athletes to be successful in the classroom and in the athletic competition.”
Duncan said he will spend the first 90-100 days on the job evaluated the programs and athletic budget. He said their were no immediate plans to expand the program’s athletic teams until a full evaluation is done.
“I have to see where we are at as far as budget and our needs,” Duncan said. “There are some sports that we don’t offer that are in our conference. We will make decisions based on our budget, and what the community can support.”
Before getting into athletic administration, Duncan was public relations coordinator for Russell Corporation in Midland, Ga. A former basketball player at Memphis, Duncan helped the Tigers reach the NCAA Elite Eight in 1992.
He served as the Associate Athletics Director, Major Gifts at UNC-Wilmington.prior to taking the Paine job.