TROY — Troy athletic director Steve Dennis will step down this fall, midway through his eighth year running the department.
Dennis, who took over in March 2005, said in a statement Tuesday that his resignation is effective Sept. 30.
“The university will always hold a special place in my heart and my family will always be a Troy family,” he said. “Our athletic department has accomplished a great deal at Troy, and I believe this is the right time in my life to explore other opportunities. “
During his tenure, the Trojans have won five Sun Belt Conference football titles. They have also had several facilities upgrades, including the $31 million Trojan Arena, which will open for the upcoming basketball season and house the new Troy University Sports Hall of Fame.
“That’s definitely going to be part of Steve’s legacy,” men’s basketball coach Don Maestri said. “He put in a lot of time and effort, a lot of travel around this state, around the country. That’s an interesting thing, because that arena is one of the finest in the country and it’s going to last the next 50-60 years. He’ll be part of something that’s going to last 50 or 60 years for sure. That’s going to be a long-lasting piece of his legacy.”
Maestri said he was “kind of surprised” when Dennis called to tell him of the decision after informing other staffers in a meeting Tuesday morning. Dennis was not made available for further comment.
Maestri said he doesn’t know Dennis’s plans.
“For me, he did a great job of supporting the basketball program, and I’ve always evaluated people when times were not going well,” the coach said. “In 2009 we had an outstanding year, we went to the CBI. In 2010, we won the Sun Belt and went to the NIT, but the year prior to that we were in last place. He backed us during the tough times. I think that’s why we came back the next two seasons and had some success, because of his support.”
Troy has also built a new facility for the soccer and track teams and done $5 million in renovations to Riddle-Pace Field
Dennis had previously worked in various capacities at Auburn starting in 1985. He played football for Georgia and was the defensive captain in 1978.