ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP/KRQE) — The University of New Mexico has appointed one of its deputy athletics directors to head the department until the position is permanently filled.

The school announced Monday that Janice Ruggiero is taking on the role, making her the first woman to oversee all of the university’s athletics programs.

A native New Mexican, Ruggiero is filling in following the abrupt retirement of Paul Krebs, who was facing increasing criticism for the spending of public money on a golf trip that included donors.

“I had been on vacation for two weeks with my son in Spain, landed in Atlanta Friday about 3 o’clock, and my phone and texts were blowing up,” Ruggiero told KRQE News 13.

University Interim President Chaouki Abdallah was on the line. He said it was an honor to appoint Ruggiero.

“I didn’t even know what had happened,” Ruggiero said.

On the golf trip, which is being investigated by the state auditor and attorney general, Ruggierio told KRQE News 13, “We’re a public institution, and so we’re going to cooperate as much as we can, and anything they need, we’re going to cooperate, and at the end of the day, whatever their findings come out with, we’ll adhere to them, and we welcome it.”

She played basketball at UNM for three seasons and graduated with a business degree in 1989. She later earned a master’s in sports administration.

She has worked as a coach, an adviser, a compliance officer and an administrator.