TAMPA - University of South Florida System President Judy Genshaft has named Mark Harlan USF’s new Director of Athletics.
Harlan, 44, who most recently served as Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations at UCLA, is expected join USF April 7. He succeeds Doug Woolard, who announced plans to retire earlier this year.
“I know the USF community shares my excitement in welcoming Mark Harlan. Mark comes to us from the accomplished athletic department of UCLA, where he played a key role in recent successes both on the field and in the classroom,” said USF System President Judy Genshaft.
“Mark’s experience, enthusiasm and proven leadership make him a perfect fit to further elevate the success of USF Athletics and our talented student-athletes. We are so pleased that Mark, his wife, and their two children are joining our Bulls family.”
At USF, Harlan will be responsible for an athletic department with 19 men’s and women’s teams competing in the American Athletic Conference, about 450 student-athletes and an annual budget of approximately $44 million.
"My family and I are honored to join the USF Athletics family and I am grateful to President Genshaft, the Board of Trustees and the Search Advisory Committee for placing their trust and confidence in me,” Harlan said.
“This is an exciting time in intercollegiate athletics but also one with challenges. We will work hard every day to provide the ultimate experience for our student-athletes, to ensure our young men and women graduate and to provide our students, coaches and staff with the tools to win championships. We will also make tremendous efforts to ensure USF students, Bulls fans, donors, and alumni everywhere are engaged and proud of this very special program. I can't wait to get started.”
In his role at UCLA, Harlan helped guide a 25-sport athletic department with more than 700 student-athletes and a budget of approximately $80 million.
With oversight that included the men’s basketball program, athletic department development, communications, marketing, ticket sales, sponsorships, multimedia rights and alumni affairs, Harlan also played an integral role in all major initiatives and coaching hires, including the recent high-profile additions of men’s basketball coach Steve Alford and football coach Jim Mora.
Harlan’s accomplishments since joining UCLA in 2010 include raising more than $125 million in annual fund and campaign gifts.
Successfully managing a 2012 completion to the $137 million campaign to renovate iconic Pauley Pavilion, he also reorganized the structure of the major giving program and annual fund, leading to a record number of donors and dollars raised in 2013.
Heavily involved in the negotiations with the City of Pasadena to enable a $200 million renovation of the Rose Bowl Stadium, in his four years at UCLA, the Bruins won 11 Pac-12 Conference championships and four national championships.
In addition, UCLA’s student-athlete graduation rate, which currently stands at 87 percent, ranks second in the Pac-12 Conference behind only Stanford.
Prior to his time at UCLA, Harlan also achieved great success at another Pac-12 institution, serving as the Senior Vice President for Central Development at the University of Arizona Foundation.
While there, the Foundation recorded two record years in dollars raised and number of gifts on behalf of the university.
Harlan has also served in Associate Athletic Director roles at San Jose State and Northern Colorado.
At SJSU he successfully negotiated a comprehensive television rights deal. While working closely with football coach Dick Tomey, Harlan helped nearly double ticket sales in 2005 and 2006. At Northern Colorado he played a key part in the school’s transition to Division I and the Big Sky Conference.
“When you look at Mark’s body of work over the past 12 years, the rich winning tradition and history of UCLA, along with the unique challenges he has faced, including playing football off-campus and competing for media attention and fan support in a market with multiple professional franchises, not to mention hiring two elite-level coaches, Mark's qualifications appear to be a perfect match for what we need at USF in 2014 and beyond,” said Bill Sutton, chairman of Search Advisory Committee and Director of USF’s Sport and Entertainment Management program.
Harlan earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Education from Arizona. He and his wife Carolyn have two children, Savannah, 8 and Austin, 5.