Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan Named A.D. Of The Year
Mar 27, 2023, 9:49 AM
Harlan took over Utah Athletics five years ago when longtime director Chris Hill retired in 2018 and the Utes have continued to flourish in that time reaching new heights and records. The award recognizes Harlan in the FBS category for Utah’s unprecedented success through the 2022 calendar year.
The Utes have been crushing it lately, not only in the field of play, but in the classroom and community as well. Utah’s nearly 600 student-athletes have set records for academic performance and winning championships over the past few seasons marking a peak-era for the school in the Pac-12 since joining in 2011.
— Utah Athletics (@utahathletics) March 27, 2023
Mark Harlan Making Progress In The Face Of Adversity
Perhaps most impressive about Harlan’s time at Utah has been the unusual hurdles he’s had to help navigate the department through.
Most A.D.s aren’t faced with three shocking student-athlete deaths (let alone one in an entire career) in the span of four years with one taking place right at the beginning of his tenure in Lauren McCluskey. In the middle of all of that, Harlan also had to figure out how to keep the department alive during a pandemic that shut down operations as we typically know them.
Yesterday, Utah Football opened its new stadium expansion — the Ken Garff Red Zone 🏟
➖ $80M South End Zone renovation
➖ New home & visitor locker rooms
➖ 5,000 new seats, capacity now 51,444 pic.twitter.com/AKIbAzHnUH
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) August 13, 2021
Despite all of that, Utah has come out on top hitting unprecedented levels of success in competition, fundraising, expansions, and sellouts.
“Mark’s steady guidance has anchored a department that has endured great tragedy and emerged stronger and more accomplished both on and off the field,” said University of Utah President Taylor Randall. “I am very happy for Mark. His leadership style, and vision to build a culture that keeps the best interests of our student-athletes front and center has earned him this award.”
Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports
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