CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Former Sherman Bearcat Kirby Hocutt has been named the new Director of Athletics at the University of Miami. The 36-year-old Hocutt has been the athletic director at Ohio University since June 2005. Prior to that he had been at the University of Oklahoma for six years, serving most recently as associate athletics director for external operations and sports administration.
"Kirby Hocutt is a proven leader, with the enthusiasm, thoughtfulness and commitment to our quest to be the top program in the country," said University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala.
Hocutt is a graduate of Sherman High School, and played for the Bearcat football team in the late 80's and early 90's.
A former star linebacker at Kansas State, Hocutt has a total of 17 years experience in intercollegiate athletics, including five as a student-athlete. He replaces Paul Dee, who is retiring after being the Director of Athletics for the past 16 years. Hocutt will officially begin his duties at UM on June 1, 2008.
"My family and I are extremely excited to be coming to the University of Miami and joining the South Florida community," said Hocutt. "To be associated with a world-class University known for comprehensive excellence is truly an amazing opportunity. I look forward to working for and with President Shalala, our student-athletes, coaches and staff as we focus on permanently establishing the Miami Hurricanes as the premier athletics program in the nation."
Joe Natoli, Miami's senior vice president/business and finance and chief financial officer, who chaired the search committee, said, "Our search, which included ADs and senior associates at some of the top programs in the country, led us to Kirby Hocutt, a rising star in intercollegiate athletics."
At Ohio, Hocutt significantly reorganized the athletic department's annual giving program, increasing fundraising by more than 75 percent, including the securing of the second largest major gift in school athletics history. He also increased season ticket sales in football by 112 percent and in men's basketball by 50 percent. He developed a comprehensive plan to improve the facilities for the football stadium and its press box, as well as the Convocation Center, which houses all administrative and coaches' offices.
In his three years at Ohio, the school won 11 team championships and four head coaches were recognized as conference Coaches of the Year. In 2006, the football team played in its first bowl game in 38 years.
At Oklahoma, Hocutt was the primary administrator for football and the sport supervisor for baseball, men's and women's golf, as well as men's and women's tennis. His duties included supervision of the athletics development office, athletics ticket office, special events, stadium suite program, athletics endowment program, letter winners association and the department's facility use and rental program.
Hocutt led Oklahoma's athletics fundraising to an all-time high in annual giving and capital campaigns. From 1998 to 2005, Oklahoma's annual giving increased from $3.4 million to more than $17 million. That 400 percent increase in annual giving was one of the highest percentage increases in intercollegiate athletics history.
Beginning in 1999, Hocutt served in a leadership position in the strategic planning for a $100 million capital campaign. The $120 million campaign was unique in that it focused on facility construction or improvements for each of Oklahoma's 20 sports.
Prior to joining the Oklahoma staff, Hocutt served as the assistant director of licensing at the NCAA. In that position, he worked with corporate partners and licensees to create new revenue producing initiatives to support and promote all 81 NCAA championships.
He began his career in sports administration as the assistant director of marketing and promotions at Kansas State University. While at Kansas State, he implemented revenue-producing activities for the athletics department, including corporate partner sponsorships and ticket sales.
A former student-athlete at Kansas State, Hocutt was a four-year letterman as a linebacker while leading the Big 8 Conference in tackles and being named to the All-Big 8 Conference team during his junior season. In 1993, The Sporting News selected him as one of the top 20 underrated players in the nation. Hocutt served as a team captain his senior season. Two of Hocutt's coaches at Kansas State were Bob Stoops, head football coach at Oklahoma and Jim Leavitt, the head football coach at South Florida.
Hocutt earned his bachelor's degree from Kansas State in 1995 and his master's of education degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2001. He and his wife, Diane, have two sons: 5-year-old Drew and 3-year-old Brooks.
THOUGHTS ON KIRBY HOCUTT
"Kirby has done much to take our department of athletics to a higher level, and we are very appreciative for all of the accomplishments we have seen in our department during his tenure. It's very unfortunate that we cannot have his leadership in our department for a longer period of time. We understand, however, that is the risk we run when hiring good people."
--Roderick J. McDavis, President, Ohio University
"All of Kirby's friends at the University of Oklahoma send him warm congratulations. He did an outstanding job as associate director of athletics and we wish him well at the University of Miami every day that he is on the job, except when his teams play OU."
--David L. Boren, President, University of Oklahoma
"Reflecting on my background as a native of South Florida, a former intern for the Hurricanes athletic department and a person who worked with the new athletics director, I can say unequivocally that Kirby Hocutt is a phenomenal hire for the University of Miami. His impeccable character, high energy and passion for excellence combined with his leadership skills create the perfect blend to advocate for student-athletes, coaches and the university in today's world of intercollegiate athletics. I congratulate President Shalala, the search committee and all those involved in this selection. Kirby has wonderful respect amongst his peers and he will make the Hurricane Nation proud of the program he leads."
--Joe Castiglione, Director of Athletics, University of Oklahoma
"I have known Kirby dating back to the days when I coached him at Kansas State. He has always impressed me with his extraordinary work ethic and dedication. I saw a continuation of those traits during his time as an administrator here at Oklahoma. Kirby understands what it takes to be successful, is strong in his personal relationships and efficient in getting the job done. I am not surprised by his quick assent in our profession and am confident he will do well in Miami."
--Bob Stoops, Head Football, Coach University of Oklahoma