Utah State President Stan L. Albrecht announced Tuesday the hiring of John Hartwell as its new Vice President and Director of Athletics. Hartwell, who has spent the past three years as the Athletics Director at Troy, will begin his duties at USU in mid-July. Hartwell succeeds Scott Barnes, who was recently named the Director of Athletics at Pittsburgh.
Hartwell will officially be introduced on Wednesday at a press conference in the Wayne Estes Center on the Utah State campus at 11 a.m. (MT). The press conference is open to the public. Anyone who can't attend the press conference can watch live streaming of the event via USU's web site at www.utahstateaggies.com. Fans can also listen to the press conference live via KVNU 610 AM.
"My family and I are very honored and blessed for the opportunity to become part of the Aggie family and join the rich tradition and storied history of Utah State Athletics," said Hartwell. "We are stepping into a situation where Scott did a tremendous job and Randy (Spetman) before him, and our intention is to continue to move forward the level of success with USU Athletics.
"We are excited about the future of Aggie Athletics and we will work diligently to not just win our first Mountain West championship, but many championships to come in the not too distant future."
During his three years as Director of Athletics at Troy, Hartwell laid the groundwork for the future of Trojan Athletics by spearheading several significant upgrades to its athletic facilities, including the addition of a new practice facility for the golf teams, a $3 million renovation of the softball complex, the construction of a softball practice facility and a $2.1 million improvement to Veterans Memorial Stadium, while also securing funding for lights to be installed at the soccer and track complex. Hartwell also unveiled the North End Zone Project for Veterans Memorial Stadium, which will get underway in the coming months.
"We are delighted and thrilled to welcome John Hartwell and his wife, Heather, to the USU Aggie family," said Albrecht. "As soon as we learned that Scott Barnes would be leaving, we initiated a very aggressive search to find just the right person to replace him, someone who would build upon and extend our successes. We had an outstanding pool of candidates and were gratified at the interest expressed in Utah State. From this set of well-qualified and attractive candidates, John emerged as the clear choice. He brings a great deal of experience in all aspects of managing a successful athletics program and has the skills to lead Aggie athletics to new heights."
During the 2014-15 academic year, five Troy programs competed in postseason play, highlighted by a pair of Sun Belt Conference championships by the women's golf and men's tennis teams, while the women's basketball team won 20 games for the first time since 1996-97 and made just its second postseason appearance in school history. Within the past year, three of Hartwell's new coaching hires - Beth Mullins (softball), Scott Kidd (men's tennis) and Bart Barnes (women's golf) - have been named Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, including back-to-back awards by Barnes.
Under Hartwell, Troy Athletics saw a significant enhancement in fundraising and external relations as he completely overhauled Troy's External Affairs division of the Athletics Department to increase revenues and enhance the fan and game day experience. Included in this makeover was the creation of a new external model, which included the addition of a Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Affairs; bringing corporate sponsorships in house with a partnership with Rockbridge Sports Group; and the development of the Troy Affinity Program to further engage Troy students in athletics.
Hartwell's strong business background also proved to be valuable at Troy as he negotiated a new footwear and apparel deal with Adidas, while also securing home-and-home football games with Duke and North Carolina State in addition to yielding a home basketball game with Mississippi. Hartwell's tenure at Troy also saw a record number of student-athletes earn a 3.0 grade-point-average, an upward trend in APR scores and additional staff positions in Troy's academic support department. During the 2014-15 academic year, Troy student-athletes finished with a 3.01 cumulative grade-point average and over 57 percent of Troy's student-athletes had a 3.0 GPA or higher.
At Troy, Hartwell served on the NCAA Division I Basketball Issues Committee and the Division I-A Board of Trustees Executive Committee as the Sun Belt Conference representative. He was also an instructor at the Division I-A Institute for aspiring athletic directors in 2013 and 2014.
Prior to being the Director of Athletics at Troy, Hartwell spent nine years at Mississippi, where he was the Senior Executive Associate Athletics Director, serving as the number two administrator in athletics.
Hartwell served as the Treasurer and Chief Operating Officer of the Mississippi Athletic Association Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization that generates over $17 million annually for the Ole Miss Athletics Department through priority seating and major gifts.
He was responsible for the day-to-day administrative oversight of the football, men's basketball and baseball programs, along with sport oversight of the softball and men's and women's track & field and cross country programs. Hartwell also oversaw the Rebels' business office, ticket office, equipment room, merchandise sales, concessions and football scheduling. Hartwell scheduled several marquee football games for the Rebels, including a home-and-home series with Texas that began in 2012.
Hartwell managed the growth of the Ole Miss athletic budget from $26 million in the 2003 fiscal year to over $47 million in the 2012 fiscal year. He also chaired the search to hire men's basketball head coach Andy Kennedy in 2006. He was heavily involved in negotiations that increased revenues with contracts for apparel and footwear (Nike), merchandise sales (Sports Avenue/LIDS), concessions (Centerplate), wireless provider (C Spire) and video boards (Daktronics). He served on the Southeastern Conference Ticket Committee and was a leader of the annual SEC Chief Financial Officers Forum.
A 1987 graduate of The Citadel, the 50-year old Hartwell spent four-plus years as a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young before returning to his alma mater to serve as the Director of Internal Audit in 1991. From 1994 to 1997, he was in private business as the Chief Financial Officer for a $36 million beverage distributor on the South Carolina coast.
Hartwell's direct experience in athletics administration began as the Assistant Athletics Director for Business at Georgia State in 1997. He was promoted to Associate Athletics Director for Internal Affairs in 1999, and his responsibilities expanded to include sport supervision for baseball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's track & field and cross country. He also had oversight over the Panthers' athletic facilities and game management in addition to his previous responsibilities of all financial aspects of the department. While at Georgia State, Hartwell earned a master's degree in sports administration.
Athletics has always been a big part of Hartwell's life, starting in high school where he was an all-state basketball selection at UMS-Wright in Mobile, Ala. The 6-foot-7 forward played alongside current North Carolina State head coach Mark Gottfried in high school. Hartwell went on to play collegiately at The Citadel, where he was a three-year starter, a four-year letterman and captain of the team as a senior in 1987. Current Tulane head coach Ed Conroy was a collegiate teammate of Hartwell.
Hartwell is married to Dr. Heather Seale Hartwell, and they have two daughters, Lauren (6) and Madison (3). Hartwell also has a 23-year old son, Hunter, who is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt.
Utah State Director of Athletics History (1955-Present)
1955-1963 HB Hunsaker
1964-1972 Frank Williams
1973-1982 Ladell Andersen
1983-1984 Dave Kragthorpe
1985-1992 Rod Tueller
1993-1997 Chuck Bell
1998 Bruce Van De Velde
1999-2003 Rance Pugmire
2004-2007 Randy Spetman
2008-2014 Scott Barnes
2015- John Hartwell
John Hartwell Personal Information
Hometown: Mobile, Ala.
Alma Mater: The Citadel, 1987
Family: Hartwell and his wife Heather have two daughters, Lauren (6) and Madison (3). Hartwell also has one son, Hunter (23).
Hartwell'S Pervious Collegiate Administrative Experience
The Citadel: Director of Internal Audit, 1991-94
Georgia State: Assistant Athletic Director for Business, 1997-99; Associate Athletic Director for Internal Affairs, 1999-2003
Mississippi: Senior Executive Associate Athletics Director, 2003-12
Troy: Director of Athletics, 2012-15
Utah State: Vice President and Director of Athletics, 2015-
What Others Are Saying About John Hartwell
David Cutcliffe, Duke Head Football Coach:
"First off, congratulations to John. I could not be happier for him and his family in regards to this opportunity. When we were together at the University of Mississippi, John was a difference-maker for us. His enthusiasm and expertise in the areas of support were a big part of our success. John is obviously a veteran leader in college athletics, and he will bring tremendous passion and dedication to the Utah State and Logan communities. I'm certain John will embrace the challenges ahead with a level of commitment that Aggie fans will be proud of and we wish him all the best in this new endeavor."
Mark Gottfried, North Carolina State Head Men's Basketball Coach:
"I've known John a long time. He has a tremendous mind for athletics and business. I think he's one of the rising stars in college athletics. He's one of the best out there and Utah State will come out a big winner by hiring him."
Ed Conroy, Tulane Head Men's Basketball Coach:
"I am extremely happy for John and his family because I know how excited they are about this opportunity. John has such a great track record at each of his previous stops, so I don't believe it will take long for the coaches, student-athletes, fans and the entire Utah State community to discover how driven he is to be successful in the classroom and from a competitive standpoint."
Rick Baker, President, Cotton Bowl Athletic Association:
"Utah State could not have found a better man. John Hartwell is a first-class administrator with all the skill sets needed to maneuver the Aggies through these challenging and changing times in intercollegiate athletics. John is an incredibly hard and dedicated worker, proven leader and one of the nicest guys I know. He and Heather will be a great addition to the Utah State family."
Karl Benson, Sun Belt Conference Commissioner:
"Utah State is getting a very similar person and administrator to Scott Barnes in John Hartwell. When Scott walked into a room he commanded a presence and when John walks into a room he commands that same presence. John is an excellent administrator and fundraiser and is a perfect fit for Utah State."
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