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SBD/February 28, 2011/CollegesPrint All
Texas Tech Univ. on Friday hired Univ. of Miami AD Kirby Hocutt to the same position, replacing Gerald Myers "who will retire in May," according to Don Williams of the Lubbock AVALANCHE-JOURNAL. TTU President Guy Bailey said there are a "few small details to be worked out" regarding Hocutt's contract. But the two sides "have an agreement in principle" and Hocutt, a Texas native, is "expected to be formally introduced by Tech sometime" this week. Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance said, "I think he came to the realization that he wanted to be back in Texas. I just felt like he was a top candidate, that he would fit in with our community and the most important thing, I thought he would fit in with our coaches." Williams noted in the last decade the 38-year-old Hocutt "has gone from being associate athletic director at Oklahoma to the youngest Division I AD in the country at Ohio University to the top job at the University of Miami, where he has been since 2008" (Lubbock AVALANCHE-JOURNAL, 2/26). Hocutt said, "I'm going home to be closer to my family and friends." He did not disclose the terms of his agreement with Tech, but "did confirm that UM officials made a counteroffer to try to keep him." In Miami, Susan Miller Degnan reported Myers makes $379,600, and Hocutt is "expected to be given a decent raise." Hocutt said that he met with UM President Donna Shalala and UM Athletic Advisory Committee Chair Paul DiMare on Friday morning "to tell them of his decision," and then in the afternoon "told his executive staff, and then the others." It is unclear "what steps UM will take to replace Hocutt, who likely will leave sometime in March." UM Deputy AD Tony Hernandez, a "possible candidate, could take over on an interim basis" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/26).
KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR? In Orlando, Iliana Limon reported before Hocutt even "accepted a job at Texas Tech, current UCF Athletic Director Keith Tribble was already being mentioned as a strong candidate to replace him." Tribble is a Miami native who attended the Univ. of Florida. Prior to joining UCF in '06, Tribble spent 13 years as CEO of the Orange Bowl in Miami (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 2/26).
Rutgers Univ. is "in talks to hire" The Aspire Group to help "mediocre ticket sales and a sports program that remains in the red," according to Kelly Heyboer of the Newark STAR-LEDGER. Neither Rutgers nor the Atlanta-based firm "would discuss their potential deal while negotiations are continuing." But members of the Rutgers BOG "discussed the possibility of a deal with Aspire at a public meeting in Newark this month." Several board members said that they "were intrigued by Aspire’s commission-based sales plan, which would not require the cash-strapped university to put up much money up front." Rutgers officials said that football ticket revenue "peaked at $10.6 million in 2009, before falling slightly last year." Men’s basketball sales "climbed to $1.5 million in 2007-08, but declined each of the last two years." Heyboer noted Aspire already has "made a name for itself at Georgia Tech, where it used a similar sales plan to increase ticket sales for football and men’s basketball." Georgia Tech Associate AD/PR Wayne Hogan said, "From a Georgia Tech standpoint, it’s been a huge success. They’re just pounding the phones." In addition to GT, Aspire works with the Univ. of Colorado, a "minor league Canadian hockey team and two English soccer teams" (NJ.com, 2/27).