ENMU hires Billings as next AD
December 25, 2019
PORTALES - Eastern New Mexico has a new athletic director, with Matt Billings leaving the Pacific Northwest to join the Greyhounds.
The university announced Saturday night that Billings, deputy athletic director at Portland State University, was chosen from a pool of three finalists who made on-campus visits over the prior week.
His official start date is Jan. 20.
"I am truly humbled beyond belief to come to serve Eastern New Mexico University Athletics. I want to thank Chancellor (Jeff) Elwell, Vice President (Jeff) Long and the search committee," Billings said in a university release. "When I came in to interview, I very quickly came to believe I can come in and make a difference. I can't wait to get started."
When reached at his Portland office Monday, Billings said he and his wife liked the change in pace Portales would give them and a change to a location where the university was the community's focal point.
"My wife and I were 20 years into this career," Billings said, "and we were really looking for a place where we could come in and make a difference."
Billings said he would miss the people at Portland State, who were "just really solid people ... who do it the right way." But the search committee, Elwell, Long and the coaches he talked to made him believe that he would find good people at his next stop as well.
"There are really good people there," Billings said. "I told my wife when I was coming down to interview I'd know if it was the spot by noon of that day. That was the case."
His first immediate challenge is to take over in mid-year. The university has been without a fulltime athletic director since the resignation of Greg Waggoner in June. Waggoner is scheduled to begin in January as AD at Division III Johnson and Wales in Denver.
"There hasn't been a sitting, fulltime AD since the end of June, so you have support staff just asking what is the vision, what we're going to do and how we get there," Billings said. "Dr. Long was interim, but he had a million other things to do."
Long, ENMU's vice president of student affairs, has filled the AD role on an interim basis.
Since Waggoner's departure, the college had embarked on two searches to fill the position. The first time through, Elwell said, the committee couldn't come to an agreement on any of the candidates.
"I am delighted that Matt Billings has agreed to become our new athletic director," Elwell said in the release. "He brings significant experience in multiple areas at major Division I universities and is the right person from among a strong group of finalists to lead the Greyhound athletic program. I look forward to his arrival in January and to work with him to bring our athletic programs to the next level."
Billings held a number of positions within collegiate athletics prior to his eight years at Portland State. He served as director of compliance at the University of Southern California from 2008-2010. From 2004-2008, Billings was the assistant athletic director for compliance at Boise State University. Prior to his time at Boise State, he was the director of compliance at Weber State University from 2000-2004.
Billings holds bachelor's degrees from Utah State University in political science, and Idaho State University in economics. He holds a master's degree from Idaho State University in athletic administration.