Barnhart up for Athletics Director of the Year

03/31/2015 11:57 AM

After a record year for UK Athletics, the Sports Business Awards has nominated Mitch Barnhart for the Athletics Director of the Year honor.

Barnhart joins other nominees Jeff Long of the University of Arkansas, Ian McCaw of Baylor University, and Dan Radakovich of Clemson University. The SBA will announce the winner at its awards ceremony on May 20, 2015, at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square.

The 2015 award recognizes excellence and outstanding achievement in the business of sports for the period from March 1, 2014 to February 28, 2015.

“I am honored just to be mentioned for Athletics Director of the Year,” said Barnhart. “I am thankful for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the Big Blue Nation. This recognition, as well as our growth as a department, has come because of them.”

The headlining achievement of UK Athletics under Barnhart’s tutelage during that period is the men’s basketball team reaching the Final Four for in back-to-back seasons and completing the first perfect regular season by a power conference team in 39 years in route to its current perfect 38-0 record.

However, many of the university’s other sports programs enjoyed success during that same time as 18 of UK’s 22 varsity teams contributed to finishing 11th in the Director’s Cup standings last season — a new school record.

Barhart also improved the growth of the athletics department off the field by pursing facility improvements at Commonwealth Stadium and new practice facilities for the football, softball, soccer, and track teams.

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