Arkansas State University System President Dr. Chuck Welch announced Wednesday (May 4) that Jeff Purinton, an athletics administrator who most recently spent the last seven years as part of the University of Alabama Athletic Department’s executive staff, has been named the Red Wolves’ Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics.
Purinton comes to ASU following a 15-year stint at the University of Alabama, but his path to Jonesboro also included professional stops working with the Orange Bowl Committee (2006-07) and the Florida State Athletics Department (1994-2006) while also having a national presence on multiple college football committees.
“I could not be more excited about the hiring of Jeff Purinton as the next Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics at Arkansas State,” said Welch. “From the very first conversation I had with Jeff, I knew that he was someone who would elevate our program to unforeseen heights. Jeff’s experience, combined with his incredible relationship skills and his network across the nation, made him an exceptional candidate for our position. Jeff has literally overseen every aspect of a premier athletics department, and every single person I talked with said it is his time to run his own department. I am thrilled that the department is ours, and I cannot wait to see what he accomplishes for our university.”
Purinton most recently served as Alabama’s executive deputy director of Athletics after being elevated to the position in 2021, but also held the position of deputy AD (2019-21).
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be named the next vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics at Arkansas State University,” said Purinton. “Thank you to System President Chuck Welch and everyone involved in the search process. It was handled in a first-class manner all the way through. I definitely had an interest when I got the first call about it, and after I had a chance to sit down and talk in-person with Chuck and Brad (Phelps), I was certain Arkansas State was a school I wanted to be a part of. They were genuine and authentic, and you felt a trust with them right off the bat. I felt like it was the right place and the right timing, but most importantly the chance to work with the right people.”
Arkansas State will hold a press conference Monday (May 9) at the Centennial Bank Athletics Operations Center officially introducing Purinton as the Red Wolves’ 13th athletics director. The press conference is open to the public, and it will be streamed live on AState.edu, the official web site of Arkansas State University.
While operating as executive deputy director of athletics, Purinton was the sport administrator for football as well as the men’s and women’s golf programs after previously overseeing men’s basketball. Additionally, he supervised several departments within athletics, including human resources, marketing and trademark licensing and was the liaison to Crimson Tide Sports Marketing, Alabama’s LEARFIELD property.
When current Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne was hired to lead the Crimson Tide in 2017, Purinton was charged with the creation and implementation of the department’s new strategic plan. He served on the leadership group that helped develop and launch the department’s new fundraising initiative (The Crimson Standard) with a 10-year goal of raising $600 million. The first phase of the campaign included renovations to both football locker rooms, the Sports Science Center at the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility, Rhoads Softball Stadium, as well as recruiting and premium areas at Bryant-Denny Stadium.