Associate athletic director named

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    By CHRIS TAYLOR

    The dust in BYU’s Mens Athletic Department continues to settle after the major shake-up in June, triggered by the departure of Athletic Director Rondo Fehlberg. Duff Tittle has been named BYU’s associate athletic director for external relations, replacing Val Hale who is now athletic director.

    Tittle actually joked about landing the job three years ago while interviewing for the publications coordinator position at BYU, a position he has held for the past three and a half years. In that interview, Fehlberg and Hale asked Tittle where he saw himself in five years.

    “I laughed and said, Well, five years from now, Rondo, you’ll be a vice president at BYU and Val will be the athletic director and I’ll take Val’s job,” Tittle said.

    “Who would have known three and a half years later that Rondo would move back into the corporate world and Val would get the opportunity and, in turn, I would get the opportunity as well,” he said.

    As associate athletic director, Tittle will oversee athletic marketing and media relations for both the men’s and women’s athletic departments. He will also be involved in working with the Varsity Club and Cougar Club. Tittle has been able to watch Hale closely from his position as publications coordinator, but that didn’t fully prepare him for the job that is now all his, starting three days ago.

    “They transferred Val’s old phone number to my number on Monday, so it’s been ringing like crazy,” Tittle said. “The funny thing is I’ve had probably at least a half a dozen people or more call to inform me that I was now on their committee or that I was serving on a board of directors here and there. So that was a bit of a surprise. I knew that Val was involved with a lot of different things, but I didn’t realize that he had his hands into everything.”

    To say BYU hired one of its own would be an understatement. Tittle grew up in Orem and was a teen during what he calls the glory era at BYU with Ainge, McMahon and Young. Being the huge BYU fan that he was, Tittle always wanted to be involved in athletics in some way or another, but he soon realized that there wasn’t much of a market for 5’8″ 150 lb. baseball catchers. He met Val Hale for the first time not long thereafter and was intrigued by Hale’s line of work.

    “I saw what he was doing,” Tittle said. “And I thought, ‘Ya know, that would be cool. They’re going to pay you to do that?'”

    Tittle studied public relations at BYU and interned his sophomore year at the sports information office, followed by an internship with the women’s athletic department for a year. He then interned with the American Junior Golf Association and worked there for three years as director of communications following graduation in 1990.

    In 1993, Tittle went to BYU-Hawaii where he was media relations director and chief spokesperson for the entire university. Tittle always wanted to come back home to BYU and of course did. He has overseen athletics publications at BYU since 1996.

    Tittle is renowned for his award-winning athletics publications. He won several national awards while at BYU-Hawaii. On KSL-radio last week, Tittle was noted for producing the thickest college football media guide each year. Publications coordinator is a job Tittle will miss, but he looks forward to applying his creative side to his new job.

    “I’m going to miss the opportunity to sit down with nothing and create. But at the same time, I hope I can use that same creative gift, if you will, to be creative in this new position.”

    So, could the athletic director position eventually be in Tittle’s future, say in another five years down the road? “Fortunately, he (Val Hale) didn’t ask me that question,” Tittle said. And to be honest with you, being here three and a half years and seeing all that the athletic director has to do, I’m pretty comfortable in doing what I’ve been called to do for a while.”

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