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Coyle elevated to UK deputy director of athletics

University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart recently announced a restructuring plan of the UK Athletics department, which includes the promotion of Mark Coyle from senior associate athletics director for external affairs to deputy director of athletics.

“I’m excited that we were able to give an opportunity for Mark Coyle to take on the role of deputy director of athletics,” Barnhart said. “He is very deserving and has been in the world of college athletics for a long time, working his way through many different roles and experiences which leads him to this day. His days at Kentucky have given him a strong grasp of the passion and the needs of our fans and athletes alike, and I’m confident in his ability to help us move our program forward.”

Coyle will play a prominent role in the day-to-day administration of Kentucky’s 22-sport intercollegiate athletics department, assisting Barnhart with the direction of the department. Coyle will take over the day-to-day responsibilities for men’s basketball vacated when former deputy director of athletics Rob Mullens accepted the athletics director position at Oregon on July 15.

“I appreciate Mitch’s confidence in me and look forward to continuing our work toward providing a first-class experience to our more than 500 student-athletes representing the university and state,” Coyle said. “Kentucky is a special place, with an incredible fan base, and my family and I are excited to be a part of the Wildcat program.”

In addition to Coyle’s promotion, several members of the athletics department will take on new responsibilities to complete the restructuring plan. The following is a full list of UK Athletics administrators with titles and day-to-day sports administrative responsibilities (in parentheses):

· Deputy director of athletics – Mark Coyle (men’s basketball)

· Senior associate athletics director for student-athlete affairs – Sandy Bell

· Senior associate athletics director for facilities and operations – Russ Pear (tennis)

· Senior associate athletics director for communications – DeWayne Peevy

· Senior associate athletics director for internal operations – Lisa Peterson (women’s basketball, volleyball, track, cross country)

· Associate athletics director for development – Candice Chaffin (gymnastics)

· Associate athletics director for administration – John Cropp (football, women’s soccer, softball)

· Associate athletics director for marketing and licensing – Jason Schlafer (swimming and diving)

· Associate athletics director for ticket operations – Joe Sharpe (rifle)

· Assistant athletics director for compliance – John Butler (golf)

· Assistant athletics director for business – Melissa Gleason

· Assistant athletics director for academics and eligibility – Heather McAtee

· Assistant athletics director for event operations and championships – Kevin Saal (men’s soccer)

· Assistant athletics director for event management – Rodney Stiles

· Assistant to the athletics director – Marc Hill (baseball)

Five former administrators have developed under Barnhart and gone on to athletics director jobs at Bowl Championship Series schools. Barnhart is pleased to present the opportunity for advancement to employees within UK Athletics.

“I believe it is very important to be good stewards of what we’ve been given,” Barnhart said. “The opportunity to increase our efficiency with the people we have in our department currently is important to us as well. The initial reaction to an opening is generally to go outside of the current structure of your department. We are very fortunate at UK to have a very talented group of people working here within our family.

“It is important for Kentucky and for me to allow those people the opportunity to grow into new responsibilities and further their careers. We take great pride in watching people from the Wildcat family succeed not only at UK but other places nationally and look forward to these moves assisting these employees in that growth process and helping to continue to move Kentucky forward.”


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