In his nearly 14-year tenure as director of athletics at the University of New Mexico from 1992-2006, Rudy Davalos undeniably elevated the Lobos' program academically, competitively and fiscally. His accomplishments were recognized nationally in 2002 as Davalos was featured by Sports Illustrated as one of the 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports. He also received the Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award in 2006, bestowed upon an individual who successfully supported, promoted and exemplified the ideals of the Mountain West Conference or a member institution.
University of New Mexico student-athletes were consistently among the Mountain West Conference leaders in the academic arena. The Lobos produced 86 MWC Scholar-Athletes during the 2004-05 academic year, more than any other conference school. UNM student-athletes continually established new standards for semester grade-point-average, reaching a combined 3.0 or higher in the last eight terms of Davalos' tenure. Additionally, more than 100 student-athletes received national academic recognition since 1993.
Athletically, in the 10 years before Davalos came to New Mexico only five sports had combined to win or share 10 conference titles. During his tenure, eight teams won or shared nearly 40 regular-season or postseason conference championships. UNM was represented at NCAA postseason competition more than 115 times, while more than 150 student-athletes earned All-America recognition for their athletic achievements.
In men's basketball, eight of the Lobos' 11 NCAA Tournament appearances came while Davalos was at New Mexico. Likewise, all of the NCAA Tournament showings for the Lobo women's basketball program occurred while he was at UNM.
Men's and women's basketball ranked in the top-15 in national attendance average nine times.
In football, half of New Mexico's total bowl appearances were accomplished between 1997-2004. Season attendance records were broken seven times.
The UNM ski team won the 2004 NCAA championship, the first Lobo program to claim a national title, and was second in 2006. Lobo men's soccer was national runner-up in 2005.
When Davalos started in 1992, the athletics department budget was $9.4 million. The Lobos operated the 2005-06 fiscal year with a budget of more than $22 million. Not one time during Davalos' stay did the department fail to meet its annual financial obligations.
Davalos forged a relationship with the state's governors and legislators, local businesses and private contributors, allowing the school to update, renovate or provide new construction for virtually every athletics facility.
Davalos served on numerous conference and national committees, including the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball committees, the NCAA Baseball Committee and the NCAA Championships Committee.
Davalos is currently Chairman of the Executive Board of the New Mexico Bowl.
Hired to be the athletics director at Houston in January of 1987, Davalos was credited with the procurement of gift-in-kind donation to the Cougar athletics department in excess of $32 million. He spearheaded projects at UH that led to a state-of-the-art athletics facility, a baseball stadium, tennis courts and renovation of departmental offices.
With Davalos at the controls of the UH athletics department, the Cougar program enjoyed enormous success. The Houston football program produced a Heisman Trophy winner (Andre Ware in 1989) during the Davalos tenure.
While at Houston, Davalos served on the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee from the Midwest Region. He was relieved of those duties when he took the New Mexico job, but returned to the committee on September 1, 1994, an appointment that ended in 1999. He has also served on the NCAA Championship Competition Cabinet and the NCAA Div. I Baseball Committee. Davalos' administrative career on the collegiate level began in 1975 as the athletics director at the University of Texas-San Antonio. He spent nine years (1975-84) as the leader of the Roadrunner athletics department before being hired at Houston. Davalos returned to San Antonio to serve as the director of community relations for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. Davalos also worked as a television and radio commentator for the Spurs. He spent one season with the NBA team until his return to Houston as the athletics director in 1987.
Before Davalos entered the ranks of athletics administration he was a long time basketball coach. His coaching career began in 1961 as an assistant coach at Georgetown (Ky.) College. He also had assistant coaching stints at Kentucky (1962) and Auburn (1963-70) before being named head men's basketball coach at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, in 1970. He was the head coach at South for three seasons (1970-73). Davalos led the Tigers to the College Athletic Conference championship and produced the best single-season record in the school's history with a 23-4 mark in 1972-73.
Davalos moved to the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA in 1973. He was an assistant coach and Director of Player Personnel for three years, until his move to the University of Texas-San Antonio. Davalos' leadership in college athletics began as early as 1960, when he was the captain of the Southwest Texas State basketball team. An All-American point guard for the Bobcats, Davalos led SWTS to an NAIA national title. He was inducted into the NAIA Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977, the Southwest Texas State Hall of Fame in 1983, the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also named a Southwest Texas State Distinguished Alumnus in 2001.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Davalos graduated from Southwest Texas State in 1960 with a degree in Education. He received his master's degree in Education from Georgetown (Ky.) College in 1962.
Always a leader in the community, Davalos was twice (1984, 1986) chairman of the San Antonio Summer Youth Games. He previously served on the board of directors of the San Antonio Boys Club of America and the San Antonio YMCA. Davalos currently serves on the Albuquerque Sports Council board of directors.
Davalos has been recognized repeatedly throughout his career for his efforts on behalf of young people. In 1976 he received the Catholic Youth Organization's "Man in Youth" award. He is also a former president of the San Antonio Quarterback Club.
Davalos is married to the former Gail Marlin. They have three children, Dave, Doug and Deana.