La. Tech hires Tommy McClelland

Louisiana Tech hired Tommy McClelland of McNeese State as athletic director on Tuesday.

McClelland, a Louisiana native, has been the AD at McNeese State since March 2008, after serving as interim athletic director and assistant athletic director of internal affairs.

"This is an institution that has a great academic and athletic reputation throughout the country as well as a storied past and a bright future," McClelland said during a news conference on Louisiana Tech's Ruston campus. "There is positive momentum that comes from a new conference affiliation, a new president and great coaches. There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of the Tech family.

Louisiana Tech is entering its first season as a member of Conference USA.

McClelland has overseen school records in football season ticket sales and the Cowboys have won 11 Southland Conference titles during his tenure, including three in women's basketball and two in football.

"Tommy McClelland has demonstrated strong leadership skills and success in his early years as an athletics director," university president Les Guice said. "He has an extraordinary blend of intellect, character, talent, and drive that makes him one of the top young athletics directors in the nation. He articulated a vision for Tech athletics that is consistent with mine and compatible with my vision for our entire university."

Louisiana Tech's previous athletic director, Bruce Van de Velde, announced in June he was stepping down. Van del Velde had been AD since 2010. Last season he drew criticism from La. Tech fans and supporters when the football team went 9-3, but did not land a spot in a bowl game.