Hundley Assumes CEO Post at Allstate Sugar Bowl
NEW ORLEANS (June 27, 2019) – Jeff Hundley will officially take over as the chief executive officer of the Allstate Sugar Bowl on July 1. He has been with the Sugar Bowl for over 25 years, an era which has been defined by the bowl strengthening its status as one of the premier bowl games in the nation. He will become the seventh executive director/CEO of the Bowl, succeeding Paul Hoolahan, who has retired after 23 years heading the organization.
“I’m grateful to the Sugar Bowl Committee and its leadership for the confidence they’ve demonstrated in me,” Hundley said, “not just in trusting me with this new role but in the way they’ve demonstrated that faith to me and my family over the years. We’re excited about the opportunity and are looking forward to working with the Committee and our great staff to achieve big things in the years ahead.”
“The Sugar Bowl’s future is in great hands with Jeff directing our efforts,” said Judge Monique Morial, the President of the Sugar Bowl Committee. “He has extensive experience with all aspects of the Bowl and his institutional knowledge is second to none. More importantly, Jeff has the respect and trust of our membership as well as all of our outside partners.”
This year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl will feature top teams from the Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences. The champions of those leagues are designated to meet in the game unless one or both qualify for the College Football Playoff, in which case replacement teams from the respective leagues will come to New Orleans.
Hundley is also the executive director of the New Orleans Host Committee for the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship in New Orleans. That game will mark the sixth national championship game for which he has been integral to operation. Three of those national title games were contested in the Sugar Bowl – Florida’s 1997 win over Florida State; the 2000 win for Florida State over Virginia Tech; and LSU’s 2004 national title victory over Oklahoma. The other two title games were played in stand-alone Allstate BCS National Championships – LSU’s defeat of Ohio State in 2008 and the 2012 victory for Alabama over LSU.
“In just a few short years, the CFP’s National Championship Game has really developed into a marquee event,” Hundley said. “The size and scope of the game and its surrounding events has grown dramatically and will continue to do so this year and beyond. In hosting this event, we have a great opportunity to demonstrate once again why New Orleans is one of the best major event cities in America. It’s going to be fun.”
“We were delighted to learn that Jeff would become CEO of the Sugar Bowl,” said Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff. “He intuitively understands intercollegiate athletics and loves the New Orleans community. He is a terrific leader and is widely respected. Nobody doesn’t like Jeff Hundley.”
Hundley worked closely with Hoolahan and the Sugar Bowl Committee to finalize a landmark arrangement with the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 Conference to host the top available teams from each league eight times over a 12-year period (2013-2025 seasons). At the same time, the Sugar Bowl locked itself into four national semifinal games (for the 2014, 2017, 2020 and 2023 seasons).
“Jeff Hundley has been an important part of the Sugar Bowl’s success and he is widely respected in the SEC, across college athletics and throughout the football bowl landscape,” said Greg Sankey, the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. “Jeff has contributed greatly to the strong relationship that exists between the Sugar Bowl and the Southeastern Conference, and I am excited to work with him as he leads the Sugar Bowl into the future.”
“The relationship the Big 12 enjoys with the Sugar Bowl is significant to our membership,” said Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “Under Paul Hoolahan’s leadership a solid foundation has been built. We are enthusiastic for the future of our Sugar Bowl relationship as Jeff Hundley takes over the reins. Jeff has been integral to our conference’s partnership with the Sugar Bowl and his strong leadership will ensure that the Bowl remains among the best in the industry.”
While the annual college football game is the crown jewel of the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s efforts, Hundley and the bowl’s volunteer membership are involved with competitions at both the prep and intercollegiate level; including basketball, lacrosse, sailing, soccer, volleyball and track and field. During his tenure, the bowl has nearly tripled its number of ancillary community events to its current level of more than 50 annual competitions and ceremonies. In 2014, the Bowl landed title sponsorship to all Louisiana High School Athletic Association state championship events and, in 2012, the Bowl added the prestigious Crescent City Classic to its portfolio.
“Under Paul’s leadership we were able to expand our list of events outside the football game exponentially,” Hundley said. “Those events all work together to create a significant economic impact for the city and they’re providing great opportunities for young people. They’ve really become a point of pride for the Sugar Bowl Committee.”
In addition to coordinating the successful bid by the city of New Orleans to host the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship, Hundley served as Co-Executive Director of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and the 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four. He also played a pivotal role in landing the rights for New Orleans to host the Women’s Final Four again in 2020.
In addition to its wide array of sporting events, the Allstate Sugar Bowl sponsors the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame; The Manning Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding quarterback; the local chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, which awards over $60,000 in scholarships annually; and the Eddie Robinson National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, presented by the Football Writers Association of America.
Hundley was named assistant executive director of the Allstate Sugar Bowl in November 1993 and was promoted to the title of associate executive director in July 1995 and Chief Operating Officer in 2006.
Hundley came to the Bowl from the University of Georgia Athletic Association, where he worked for seven years in the Bulldog sports information office and won several national writing and publication design awards.
A native of Creston, Iowa, where he was an all-state football and basketball player and is a member of the Creston High School Hall of Fame, Hundley did his undergraduate study in journalism at the University of Iowa and his graduate work in sports administration at Western Illinois University. Hundley and his wife, Janine, a native of Clarinda, Iowa, have two sons, Roman Gabriel, Benjamin Davidson, and a daughter, Carolyn McCall.
“We’ve got work ahead of us to make sure we’re in the best competitive position for the future,” Hundley said. “I’m excited about working with the Committee and staff in tackling that challenge.”
The Sugar Bowl Committee was founded as the New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Association in 1934 for the purpose of promoting amateur sporting events that would stimulate tourism and have a positive economic effect on the New Orleans metropolitan area. Over the last decade, the Sugar Bowl has had an economic impact of over $2.5 billion for the city and state.