Hartwell leaving for Utah State, sources say

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, June 2, 2015

After two-and-a-half years at Troy University, Athletic Director John Hartwell appears to be heading out west.

Multiple published reports, including one from the Salt Lake Tribune, have Hartwell leaving Troy University and taking over as Athletic Director at Utah State University, out of the Mountain West Conference. The Utah State position opened up after former Athletic Director Scott Barnes accepted the same position at the University of Pittsburgh on April 24.

The Messenger made multiple attempts to reach out to the Troy University Athletic department for comment on Monday, but officials would not confirm the reports.

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Hartwell, 49, came to Troy in September of 2012 from the University of Mississippi. Hartwell spent nine years at Mississippi where he was the senior executive associate athletics director. At the University of Mississippi, he also served as the treasurer and chief operating officer of the University of Mississippi Athletic Association Foundation, which generated more than $17 million annually for the athletics department.

Hartwell’s salary is sure to bump up with Utah State. According to the Salt Lake Tribune report, Barnes’ starting salary last year was $404,916, while Hartwell’s was $216,300.

In his two-and-a-half years at Troy University, Hartwell made an immediate impact both on and off the field. Most notably, Hartwell oversaw many facility upgrades in his tenure at Troy University.

Veterans Memorial Stadium saw improvements during Hartwell’s tenure; A 1,242 square-foot video board and ribbon boards have recently gone up costing $2.1 million.

He has also overseen a dramatic $3 million renovation at the Troy Softball Complex.

The university golf facility was also reinvented under Hartwell’s tenure. After the construction of Trojan Arena removed much of the original golf course, Troy University reconstructed a nine-hole course for the university golf team.

Hartwell has also been saddled with the task of reconstructing many of the university’s coaching staffs.

Most recently, Hartwell hired new football coach Neal Brown, replacing former legendary coach Larry Blakeney as the Trojans new head coach. Blakeney retired after 24 years with university.

Hartwell’s other hires include: softball coach Beth Mullins, women’s soccer coach Marc Davis, men’s tennis coach Scott Kidd, and men’s basketball coach Phil Cunningham.

Hartwell’s decision to split coaching duties of the men’s and women’s golf programs turned out to be a big success. Coach Bart Barnes was promoted to be the women’s head coach under Hartwell’s tenure and was rewarded as Sun Belt Coach of the Year in back-to-back seasons.

Coach Matt Terry recently led the men’s program to its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

Mark Smartt was promoted to be the new baseball head coach after Bobby Pierce’s retired after 13 seasons with the Trojans.

While at Troy, Hartwell served on the NCAA Division I Basketball Issues Committee and the Division I-A Board of Trustees Executive Committee as the Sun Belt Conference representative.

Hartwell graduated from The Citadel in 1987 and spent several years in private business before joining Georgia State in 1997 as the assistant athletic director for business. Hartwell, who grew up in Mobile, Ala., played basketball for the The Citadel where he was a three-year starting forward and team captain as a senior. He is married to Dr. Heather Seale Hartwell and has two daughters, Lauren (5) and Madison (2) and a 22-year-old son, Hunter, Vanderbilt graduate.