Nate Allen Sports Service
FAYETTEVILLE – Newly hired Athletic Director of the Razorbacks Hunter Yurachek promised fans of UA and Razorbacks that he arrived listening and learning about directing and affirming initially.
The athletic director of the University of Houston since 2014 and former Coastal Carolina athletic director Yurachek said he had never been to Fayetteville before arriving on Tuesday night and then met with coaches, administrators and coaching staff. Support of Razorbacks men and women on Wednesday morning followed by a presentation of the press conference in Arkansas.
Recognizing his lack of previous ties to Arkansas and not to mention, but certainly aware that previous athletic director, Jeff Long, paid a public relations price upon his arrival for coming up with more ready answers than asking questions about the Razorbacks and the successor of the icon of Arkansas Frank Broyles, Yurachek emphasized listening and learning th roars the press conference. Joe Steinmetz, the Chancellor of the UA on the Fayetteville campus, also attended.
"I think most of you already know that I am not from Arkansas and that I have very few links to the state," Yurachek said. "But I will tell you that I am a quick study, I have very few answers and many questions at the moment, I am going to ask these questions to several people and listen carefully and get a complete understanding of the culture here at the University of Arkansas and all this great state. "
During his interview with Steinmetz in Houston, Yurachek presented a "100 Day Plan" to spend many of his first 100 days at work traveling the state and listening and learning.
"My life, both professional and personal, will quickly adapt to this culture," said Yurachek. "I promise, each and every one of you in this state, that my family and I will be absorbed in this state and in this community and we will become part of its fabric."
The Razorbacks part in that fabric is known to national level, Yurachek said.
"It is an honor to be in this position to be the vice rector and director of athletics and embrace the history and heritage and tradition of Razorbacks athletics that includes countless conference championships, national championships, bowl games, Final Four appearances, student Olympic athletes and incredible leaders like Frank Broyles, "said Yurachek. "This is really a special and special place."
Yurachek said that Broyles' legacy (Broyles died last August retired in 1992 after being elected to the College Football Hall of Fame as coach of the 1958-76 Razorbacks and nationally known as Arkansas & # 39; Athletic director from 1974 to 2007) always draws attention to Arkansas, including his.
"I remember being fierce and pbadionate," Yurachek said. "I think everyone enjoyed meeting him, I think he made everyone feel they were special, that's what I try to do as well."
Yurachek seemed to attract Steinmetz's attention from former NCAA women's golf champion and current LPGA winner Stacy Lewis. Lewis was one of the 7 members of the advisory committee that badisted in the search for the athletic director. Lewis and Lewis' husband, Gerrod Chadwell, know Yurachek well.
Chadwell has coached the Cougars' women's golf team since 2013.
However, Yurachek said believing Lewis, who accompanied Steinmetz when he interviewed Yurachek last Saturday in Houston convinced him more about Arkansas than he did. convince Steinmetz about him.
"I know there is an impression that maybe Stacy gave me an advantage," Yurachek said. "She gave me an advantage because she gave me a great idea from the University of Arkansas, she did a great job selling me more at the opportunity than selling me as a candidate to the people here." She was a great resource for me as I prepared for my interview. She did a great job selling, she was pbadionate about the University of Arkansas. "
Steinmetz, praising Yurachek during the press conference and noting that he was the Athletic Director of FCS (Soccer Championship Subdivision) 2014 while still in Coastal Carolina, credited Lewis for his role in the search.
"In the end it was very, very valuable to help us decide if Hunter was the right person," Yurachek said. "I'm really in debt to Stacy for that, she took a step forward and did a fantastic job for us."
Opening and closing his press conference thanking Steinmetz for giving him the opportunity to come to Arkansas, Yurachek also thanked President Renu Khator of the University of Houston for giving him the opportunity there. He stressed the relationship he had with Khator and what he feels is an athletic relationship with the universities of which he is a part.
"I am a true believer that the athletic department is in fact a porch of major universities," Yurachek said. "Being the front porch does not mean it's the most important room in the house, it's the most visible room in the house, it provides a first impression, it provides a great sense of pride for all of its components." When our student athletes at the University of Arkansas succeed academically, athletically and in their personal development, our coaches will be successful.The Razorbacks sports program, the porch of the University of Arkansas, will be a pride for this community and for this state, and it will do so through the success of our student athletes. "
Yurachek emphasized that it is an inclusive support on the front porch.
"I promise you it's a great porch," Yurachek said. "And there's room for everyone."
While engaged in Razorback sports programs in men's and women's athletics, Yurachek said it is imperative that soccer "manage the train."
"It's really what drives your revenue. "Yurachek said," We have other very, very competitive sports at the national level here at the University of Arkansas, but for our entire sports program to be successful year after year, we need our soccer program to be successful year after year, not just in the Southeastern Conference, but nationally. "
Mainly fighting in the last six years with 4-8 in 2012 under interim coach John L. Smith, followed by 3-9, 7-6, 8-5, 7-6 and 4-8. command of Bret Bielema, fired on November 24 and replaced on Wednesday by SMU coach Chad Morris, with Yurachek's late contribution to interim director Julie Cromer Peoples overseeing and completing the search for soccer coaches, soccer will improve With the rent on Wednesday, we are in the process of hiring the right football coach, "said Yurachek, shortly before the official launch of the UA announcing the hiring of Morris. "And I think they're going to see great things about our soccer program."
Jennifer Yurachek, wife of Hunter Yurachek, was introduced by her husband and Steinmetz during Wednesday's press conference.
They have three children, two in Houston attending high school and high school, and one playing football as a tight end at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va.