After 11 years as the athletic director of UNM, Paul Krebs has officially announced his retirement effective June 30.
The announcement came amid controversy revolving around the efficacy of the athletic department — investigations into the athletic department spending by Attorney General Hector Balderas and State Auditor Tim Keller. It also follows a seemingly unpopular decision among the University and community that cut the UNM ski program, though it has since been reinstated.
Despite the timing of the decision, Krebs maintains he is “not running from anything”.
He points out that he has spoken to University leadership with the request to retire several times over the last nine months.
His official statement reflects on his time at UNM in very positive terms: “I am proud of my 11 years of service to the University of New Mexico and of our unprecedented success on the field and in the classroom,” Krebs said.
“I have had the privilege of working with many great coaches and staff during my tenure. I am grateful to the loyal Lobo fans who have shown tremendous support to all our teams, coaches, and student athletes–and I will join them in cheering for the next generation of champions at New Mexico. I have been planning to retire for some time but remained on the job at the University’s request. In light of recent events, I believe that my retirement at this time is in my best interest and the University’s; I do not wish to become a distraction.”
Interim President Chaouki Abdallah said he feels that Krebs has been a positive force for the University.
“His tenure will go down as the most productive and successful in school history,” Abdallah said. “Paul’s tenure as (Athletic Director) has seen incredible gains in the academic performance of our student athletes, and this is an area where we will continue to build upon his success.”
The academic success of student–athletes has been the best in University history under Krebs, and there are many notable athletic achievements during his 11 years at the position.
Abdallah denounced the sentiment that the investigations by state officials and the retirement announcement are linked.
“The audit(s) will continue to their logical conclusion regardless of whether Paul is the AD or not,” he said, adding that the University “welcomes the oversight of state offices charged with protecting taxpayers’ interests.”
State Auditor Keller expressed ongoing concern about the financial decisions of the athletic department.
“Mr. Krebs’ decision to resign doesn’t change the need for a transparent accounting of the activities at the athletics department,” Keller said. “The public still deserves some sunshine on what’s going on at our state’s flagship sports program and our special audit will continue as planned. We need to get to the bottom of questions that have been raised regarding expenses, compensation and perks for senior staff and donors.”
Attorney General Balderas also weighed in on the retirement and stressed the need for a thorough inquiry into the decisions of the athletic department under Krebs.
“While I am pleased that Mr. Krebs resigned from UNM Athletics, our investigation of this matter is ongoing,” Balderas said. “Even if a public official leaves office, they can still face legal consequences for actions they took while in office.”
No timeline on the audits has been announced. Krebs plans to use accrued leave days for the remainder of the month and will officially be retired on June 30th.
Gabriella Rivera is a journalist for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter as @gabbychlamps.