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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sports

Athletic director Yurachek leaving UH for Arkansas


Vice President of Athletics Hunter Yurachek, center, has been hired by the University of Arkansas to become their new athletics director, UH confirmed Monday.  | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

UPDATE 5:18 p.m.: Vice President of Athletics Hunter Yurachek is leaving UH to take over as athletic director at the University of Arkansas, a UH spokesperson confirmed Monday.

“Hunter has helped us build on our nationally competitive athletics program on the field, in the classroom and by adding to our first class facilities and I wish him well,” Chancellor and President Renu Khator said in a statement. She said she will start looking for Yurachek’s replacement immediately.

Fox 26 and other outlets broke the news earlier Monday through unnamed sources within the Athletics Department.

Arkansas recently fired its athletic director, Jeff Long, and head football coach, Bret Bielema. As athletic director, Yurachek would spearhead the search for the Razorbacks’ new head coach.

“The opportunity to serve the Razorback program is both humbling and exciting,” Yurachek said in a news release from Arkansas. “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.”

Yurachek first came to Houston in 2014 as the Associate Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Athletics. Under then-Athletic Director Mack Rhoades, Yurachek helped find and hire Tom Herman, Kelvin Sampson and Ronald Hughey as head coaches of the football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball teams respectively.

When Rhoades departed for the University of Missouri in 2015, Yurachek rose to the role of Vice President of Athletics — effectively the new athletics director.

Since then, four different UH sports have won nine AAC titles: track & field has earned four, baseball won three, and football and swimming and diving each earned one.

In addition, the baseball team hosted two NCAA Regionals and the track & field men’s 4x100m relay team won the NCAA National Championship.

Yurachek also oversaw $230 million in new facilities and renovations: the Guy V. Lewis Development Center, the football team’s indoor practice facility and the Feritta Center, a new basketball arena built on the shell of Hofheinz Pavilion.

Yurachek also secured the 10 year, $15 million naming rights for TDECU Stadium.

Off the field, Cougar athletes experienced their second-best fall and spring GPAs: 2.91 and 2.87 respectively.

Yurachek’s exit is the latest in a long line of prominent figures in UH Athletics departing to new schools, leaving the program to search for a replacement hire.

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  • David

    Doesn’t seem like a step up.

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