Player Bio: Kirby Hocutt
Introduced as the University of Miami’s 11th Director of Athletics on Feb. 8, 2008, Kirby Hocutt began his tenure on June 1, 2008 and announced his departure to take the same position at Texas Tech on Feb. 26, 2011.
Hocutt’s timeline for leaving the U and starting at Texas Tech is expected to be completed in the month of March.
Hocutt, 38, came to Miami after serving as the athletic director at Ohio University since 2005. Prior to that, he spent six years at the University of Oklahoma serving as associate athletic director for external operations and sports administration.
In his first two years in Coral Gables, Hocutt has led the development and initiation of a strategic plan to ensure the University of Miami continues to be recognized among the top brands in the nation for athletic, academic and community excellence.
IN THE CLASSROOM
With a goal to be the national leader in both Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and Academic Progress Rate (APR) rankings, the student-athletes at the University of Miami are just that – students first and athletes second.
Under Hocutt’s direction in 2010, Miami recorded a program-best Graduation Success Rate of 86 percent, while all 18 teams excelled in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate Report (APR). Led by the Hurricanes football program – who has posted a multi-year APR score in the top 10 percent – Miami finished sixth in the APR in 2010, and is the only Bowl Championship Subdivision (BCS) team among the 26 schools recognized that finished ranked in the final USA Today Coaches Poll and Associated Press Poll following the 2009 season. In addition, UM’s football program was the co-recipient of the American Football Coaches Association’s 2009 Academic Achievement Award, graduating 100 percent of its freshman football student-athlete class of 2002.
ON THE FIELD
Since taking the helm of the University of Miami’s Department of Athletics, Hocutt has overseen $26 million in new projects, including the construction of a basketball practice facility, as well as upgrades to Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field, the Neil Schiff Tennis Center and Cobb Stadium. Coral Gables is truly where the nation’s best student-athletes become champions.
Hocutt continues to spearhead the development of a master plan for major facilities improvements, which will see the development of a new football training facility, an enhanced student-athlete academic center and a renovated and expanded athletic training room – all essential steps in taking a legendary program to a new caliber of excellence.
Over his two-year tenure, Hocutt has expected excellence not only from UM staff and student-athletes, but also himself. In his first year at Miami, two UM head coaches – Paige Yaroshuk-Tews (Women’s Tennis) and Nicole Lantagne Welch (Volleyball) – earned Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year honors, while UM student-athletes have earned 31 All-America honors over his two seasons in Coral Gables. In 2010, Hocutt was recognized with Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal Forty Under 40 Award as one of the most promising young executives in sports business.
A former star linebacker at Kansas State, Hocutt has a total of 19 years experience in intercollegiate athletics, including five as a student-athlete.
In Hocutt’s 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. In addition, Hocutt’s leadership led to an increase in fundraising by more than 75 percent, while increasing season ticket sales in football by 112 percent and in men’s basketball by 50 percent.
At Oklahoma, Hocutt led the 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 and execution of Oklahoma’s capital campaign, Great Expectations: The Campaign for Sooner Sports. The campaign ended successfully in 2003, with more than $125 million raised.
Prior to joining the Oklahoma staff, Hocutt served as the coordinator of licensing at the NCAA. He began his career in sports administration as the assistant director of marketing and promotions at Kansas State University.
Hocutt was a four-year letterman at linebacker at KSU, leading the Big 8 Conference in tackles and earning All-Big 8 Conference team honors as a junior. In 1993, The Sporting News selected him as one of the top 20 underrated players in the nation. Hocutt also served as a team captain his senior season.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in 1995 and his master’s of education degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2001. He and his wife Diane have two sons, 8-year-old Drew and 6-year-old Brooks.
THE HOCUTT FILES
In addition to his responsibilities at the University of Miami, Hocutt is also involved in leadership roles with various committees both regionally and nationally.
Orange Bowl Committee
Miami-Dade Sports Commission Board of Directors
Division 1-A Athletic Directors’ Association Executive Committee
ACC Committee on Infractions and Penalties
ACC Committee on Sportsmanship
THOUGHTS ON 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