Hunter Yurachek Named New U of A Athletic Director

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz announced today the appointment of Hunter Yurachek as vice chancellor and director of athletics, effective immediately.

Yurachek currently serves as the vice president for athletics at the University of Houston. At Houston, Yurachek was in charge of an NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports program comprised of 17 varsity sports programs, 425 student-athletes, 175 employees and a $45 million operational budget.

He will be formally introduced to the state and to members of the media later this week at a time to be determined.

“I am thrilled to welcome Hunter to the Razorback family,” said Steinmetz. “He possesses the experience, the management skills and the passion to have an immediate impact on our university. I know that as Razorbacks around our state and country get to know him, they will know that we are in good hands. We welcome Hunter, Jennifer and their children to Arkansas.”

During the 2016-17 academic year, 11 of the 17 varsity sports programs at the University of Houston qualified for NCAA postseason competition, teams won five American Athletic Conference team championships and 21 individual conference titles.

Prior to arriving at Houston, Yurachek served as Director of Athletics at Coastal Carolina University, where Coastal won 29 Big South Conference championships. Yurachek was named Under Armor FCS Athletic Director of the Year in 2014. He has also worked at the University of Akron, the University of Virginia, Western Carolina University, Vanderbilt University and Wake Forest University.

“The opportunity to serve the Razorback program is both humbling and exciting,” said Yurachek. “There is so much already in place, and we will quickly build on that foundation to win championships. We will do so with integrity and while continuing to be a great source of pride for the entire state of Arkansas.  I want to thank Chancellor Steinmetz and those involved with the search process. Jennifer, myself and our family cannot wait to join the Arkansas Razorback family.”

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Yurachek earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Guilford College in 1990 and a master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Richmond in 1994.  He was a four-year letter winner in basketball at Guilford. Yurachek and his wife, Jennifer, have three sons, Ryan, Jake and Brooks.

“I want to thank the members of the advisory committee,” added Steinmetz.  “Lance Harter, Ben Hyneman, Gerald Jordan, Stacy Lewis, Peter MacKeith, Rick Massey and Bill Montgomery all who provided invaluable input into the search and candidates. I also want to recognize the excellent vetting and background work conducted on the final candidates by executive search firm Korn Ferry.”

Yurachek has agreed to a five-year contract worth $850,000 a year.

Click here for Yurachek's full bio on the UH website.

Hours before the hire of Hunter Yurachek as Athletic Director, the University of Arkansas system's board of trustees filed into a conference room for a special meeting in Little Rock on Monday morning.

"Well, then we will now go into executive session," Ben Hyneman, chairman, announced shortly after the meeting convened.

And, with that the door was shut.

The wait began, as did speculation about an athletic director and a head football coach.

While Hog fans waited on pins and needles, board members kept it jovial during a coffee break about one hour in.

"How's it going in there?" we asked Hyneman. "It's just a birthday party," Hyneman said with a laugh. "We're waiting on the cake and ice cream."

More than an hour later, the door opened again. This time it included a more serious tone.

"We really don't have anything to report today," Hyneman said as the public portion of the meeting resumed, moments before it was adjourned.

Questions about what was discussed in that nearly three-hour meeting went unanswered.

"No, that will all be held in confidence," Hyneman said after getting asked about it. "We don't talk about items discussed in executive session."

Hyneman indicated that UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz would announce decisions on his terms.

"I'm real confident he's going to end up with a good athletic director for us," Hyneman said just hours before Yurachek was hired.

And, as questions continue to swirl -- Hyneman had this message to the Hog faithful:

"Keep the faith that everybody understands the importance of it, and we all are Razorbacks, and we love the Hogs and we love the university system and all of its components and we're going to work very, very hard to get to where we all need to be."

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