Lobos Add Kirkland to Athletic Communications Staff
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Steve Kirkland has joined the University of New Mexico athletic department as the Director of Athletic Communications. He will serve as the communications contact for the UNM men’s basketball, men’s golf and women’s golf programs.
Kirkland comes to Albuquerque after spending nearly two decades in the ACC, most recently five years as the Director of Athletic Communications at Wake Forest, managing the communications of the Demon Deacons’ men’s basketball, men’s golf and women’s golf programs. Prior to that, he was an assistant media relations director at Virginia for 13 years, where women’s soccer, men’s tennis and men’s basketball were among the sports he covered.
“Bringing in someone with Steve’s experience, working with high-level basketball and golf programs at Wake Forest and Virginia, is a definite benefit for us,” said Frank Mercogliano, Assistant A.D. for Communications. “He is used to major programs, understanding the needs of both local and national media, and what it’s like to work with a high-profile coach. He’s a perfect match for us.”
During his career, Kirkland has managed the communications efforts of two NCAA Championship teams (2013 and 2015 Virginia men’s tennis), six national players of the year, including two who were named ACC Male of Female Athlete of the Year. Among the student-athletes he worked with at Wake Forest were John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks, 2021 Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris and 2019 Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion Jennifer Kupcho.
“I am excited to come to a school like New Mexico, with such a rich basketball tradition,” said Kirkland. “When I was growing up, I was able to go to a game at The Pit and experiencing that atmosphere cemented my love of college basketball. I am thankful to Frank and the entire UNM staff for the opportunity to work at a school that has always been a sentimental place for me.”
A native of Shippensburg, Pa., Kirkland graduated in 2001 from Penn State with a degree in marketing. He will begin his role at UNM on August 27.