SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) - Mark Harlan, athletic director at University of South Florida, was announced as University of Utah’s new director of athletics Friday. He will start at Utah on July 1.
Harlan was appointed by U of U President Ruth V. Watkins following AD Chris Hill’s retirement.
“After an extensive national search during which we spoke with a number of outstanding candidates, Mark emerged as our clear top choice,” said Watkins. “Mark has a breadth of experience in athletics and in fundraising, an open and collaborative leadership style and a track record of success that will enable him to lead our athletics department to greater heights. On behalf of the university community, I want to welcome Mark and his family to the U.”
During Harlan’s tenure at USF, the Bulls won 12 American Athletic Conference championships and nine different sports programs ranked in the Top 25 during the 2017-2018 academic year. The Bulls football program was one of 13 programs in the nation to win 20 or more games the past two seasons and was ranked in the Top 25 for a program-record 19 straight weeks. The department had an 82 percent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) in 2017 and 12 USF teams achieved a GPA of 3.0 or above with four programs earning perfect Academic Progress Report (APR) scores. USF Athletics entered into record-setting agreements for its multimedia rights and apparel, generating nearly $53 million in revenue during the term of the agreements. In 2017, athletics increased donations by 300 percent over 2016, more than doubling the previous best year in USF Athletics giving history.
“I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of Chris Hill and to build on the strong foundation already in place,” said Harlan. “President Watkins has a clear vision for the University of Utah and recognizes that athletics can play a role in the university’s upward trajectory. I am grateful to her for the tremendous opportunity and her confidence in me and I cannot wait to get started.”
President Watkins will formally introduce Harlan at a press conference on Monday, June 4 at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
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