CMU Introduces New AD Alford at Chippewa Challenge

MT. PLEASANT – Central Michigan University’s eighth annual Chippewa Challenge golf outing on Friday featured the athletic department’s newest hire.

CMU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Michael Alford was on hand for the annual event that featured more than 450 CMU supporters playing across Buck’s Run, the Mt. Pleasant Country Club and PohlCat.

The seventh athletics director at CMU since 1940, Alford, who was hired on May 15, takes over for longtime CMU director of athletics Dave Heeke, who departed for the vice president of athletics position at the University of Arizona on April 1. Alford previously served as the senior associate athletics director for administration and development at the University of Oklahoma.

“I’m going to make sure that the athletic department is aligned with the educational mission of the university,” Alford said. “We’re going to put our student athletes first and foremost and their safety and health and well-being is top priority and we’re also going to embrace excellence.”

Prior to his position at Oklahoma, Alford, 47, served as the senior director of corporate partnerships and sales for the Dallas Cowboys from 2008-2012, and was the general manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing at the University of Alabama from 2004-2008. Prior to working with Alabama and the Dallas Cowboys, Alford spent time at ESPN, the University of Southern California, the Cincinnati Bengals and the University of Cincinnati.

"He’s been successful at Oklahoma and I think everywhere he’s been,” CMU Bookstore Director Barry Waters said. “In fundraising, he’ll help us raise the money we need to even build our athletics programs into bigger and better. He’s been working in athletic departments for a long time in a few different places, so he has a wealth of experience."

Marcy Weston has been serving as CMU’s interim director of athletics since April 3.

Alford and his wife, Laura, have three daughters. Their oldest daughter, Audrey, is a sophomore on Oklahoma’s volleyball program. Daughters Ashley and Anna Leigh are 16 and 13, respectively.

"The energy and the love that they have for the university really stood out. It really stood out during the interview process,” Alford said. “When I got back, I was like, Laura, the pride they have for this university is overwhelming. You feel it everywhere you go."

Alford’s first day is July 3.