University of Louisiana Athletic Director David Walker announced his retirement Friday, effective in January.

A 1976 UL graduate, Walker has served the university in several administrative positions for more than three decades, the last five as athletic director.

“I first came to the university in 1972 as a student, and I’ve had the privilege of calling it my home for nearly four decades,” Walker said in a statement. “While the decision to leave is a difficult one,” Walker added, “I believe the time has come to allow those that will manage the future of UL athletics the opportunity to make the decisions that will shape that future.”

Walker notified UL President Dr. Joe Savoie of his decision earlier in the week and met with coaches and staff Thursday afternoon.

Walker became interim athletic director in August 2005, as the search began to replace Nelson Schexnayder, who accepted a position within university administration. In July 2007, he was appointed to the position full-time by then-UL President Dr. Ray Authement.

The university’s announcement did not include any information on a possible replacement for Walker, nor did it indicate the likelihood of naming an interim AD in January.

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