University of Utah hires AD Mark Harlan to replace retiring Hill

Friday , June 01, 2018 - 4:43 PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The University of Utah has hired South Florida athletic director Mark Harlan as its new AD to replace Chris Hill, who officially retired on Friday after 31 years in the job.

Harlan spent the last four years at the Tampa-based school in the American Athletic Conference, leading a department with a $50 million budget and 19 varsity sports. The Bulls won 12 conference titles in nine sports during his tenure.

“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,” school president Ruth V. Watkins said in a news release.

Before USF, Harlan was an associate athletic director at UCLA for four years. The Los Angeles native and University of Arizona graduate had stints on the administrative staffs at San Jose State and Northern Colorado, and was a vice president for the University of Arizona Foundation.

“I am humbled to follow in the footsteps of Chris Hill and to build on the strong foundation already in place,” Harlan said in the release. “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.”

He signed a three-year contract extension with USF in April.

Harlan will oversee 20 varsity sports, a staff of 200 people and an $80 million budget, according to the school, which said one of his major tasks will be planning and fundraising for a potential expansion of Rice-Eccles Stadium.

“Mark has a great reputation in our conference from his time at Arizona and UCLA, and I know he will build upon the great foundation that Chris Hill has established over the last 31 years at Utah,” said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. “I have great respect for Mark, both as a leader and as a person, and I look forward to working with him in our conference."

Hill announced his retirement March 26.

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