He's one of the best out there and Utah State will come out a big winner by hiring him. —N.C. State men's basketball coach Mark Gottfried, on John Hartwell
LOGAN — One day after news surfaced that Utah State had found its new athletic director, the school made it official.
John Hartwell was named Utah State’s vice president and athletic director on Tuesday. He will begin his duties at Utah State in mid-July, according to the school’s announcement.
A press conference is set for Wednesday at 11 a.m. to introduce Hartwell, who most recently spent three years as the athletic director at Troy University. He succeeds Scott Barnes, who was named the athletic director at Pittsburgh in late April.
"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," Hartwell said in Utah State's news release. "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."
Hartwell will be Utah State's 11th athletic director since 1955. Barnes had served in that capacity since April 2008.
"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," Utah State President Stan Albrecht said in the news release. "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."
Hartwell's tenure as Troy's athletic director began in the fall of 2012 after nine seasons as the senior executive associate athletics director at the University of Mississippi.
During his time at Troy, Hartwell spearheaded efforts to bring upgrades to the Trojans' athletic facilities. They included a new on-campus golf practice facility, a $3 million renovation of the Troy Softball Complex and $2.1 million in improvements to Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Hartwell also joined with then-football coach Larry Blakeney and former Trojan Lawrence Tynes in 2013 to announce the North End Zone Project at the football stadium, a building with an estimated cost of $25-28 million that's intended to help Troy in the college football arms race.
The 49-year-old Hartwell also hired several head coaches during his time at Troy. They included Phil Cunningham for men's basketball, Beth Mullins for softball, Jason Hamilton for women's soccer and Neal Brown last November to replace Blakeney as the school's football coach.
"In his tour of duty at Troy, John has provided great service to our athletic program and this move is a positive reflection on what he has accomplished here," Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. said in Troy's news release about the move. "John has set the stage for our program to reach the next level and we wish him and his family well."
At Mississippi, Hartwell was the treasurer and chief operating officer of the school's Athletic Association Foundation, and he helped grow the Ole Miss athletic budget from $26 million during the 2003 fiscal year to more than $47 million in the 2012 fiscal year.
Hartwell has also served in administrative positions at The Citadel and Georgia State.
He is married to Dr. Heather Seale Hartwell and the couple has two daughters, Lauren (6) and Madison (3). Hartwell's 23-year-old son, Hunter, is a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University.
"I've known John a long time. He has a tremendous mind for athletics and business," N.C. State men's basketball coach Mark Gottfried said in Utah State's news release. "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."
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