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UNC hires new Athletic Director from Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. (WTVD) — North Carolina’s trustees unanimously approved the hiring of Tulsa athletic director Bubba Cunningham as the school’s next athletic director Friday.

Cunningham replaces Dick Baddour, who is stepping down after 14 years amid the ongoing NCAA investigation into the football program. Chancellor Holden Thorp has said Baddour would remain on at least until the school’s appearance before the NCAA infractions committee on Oct. 28.

Cunningham’s contract runs from Nov. 14 through June 20, 2017. His base salary of $520,000 includes incentives if the men’s football team is invited to a bowl game, if the men’s and/or women’s basketball teams make the NCAA Tournament, and if the school’s players achieve set academic targets.

Cunningham was atop a short list of candidates forwarded to Thorp by a 13-member search committee that had met several times since late August.

Cunningham has the immediate job of hiring a new football coach after the abrupt firing of Butch Davis the week before training camp began in July. He will decide whether interim coach Everett Withers should be the permanent choice.

It’s not the first time Cunningham has been the target of a BCS program. He appeared close to taking over as athletic director at Kansas in December and had even begun contract discussions there before reversing course and agreeing to a contract extension to stay at the Conference USA program.

Cunningham took over at Tulsa in 2005.

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