Mark Harlan brings track record of success from leadership roles at UCLA, Arizona, San Jose State and Northern Colorado
TAMPA, Fla. (March 11, 2014) – 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.
What Others are Saying
“You would be hard-pressed to find someone better than Mark Harlan. He is a star. He is a true leader and hard worker, possesses great integrity, is a team player and clearly understands college athletics and its role relative to the overall mission of the university.” -Dan Guerrero, UCLA Director of Athletics
“Mark has been a tremendous advocate for the UCLA football program since the day I first set foot on campus. He has been instrumental in helping us build our program. South Florida is getting a great person to lead its athletic department forward.” -Jim Mora, UCLA football coach
“Mark has done everything possible to put both UCLA Basketball and me in a position to succeed. It’s always great to have that kind of support and commitment at the highest levels, and I know South Florida is going to receive that same level of dedication now that Mark is leading the way.” -Steve Alford, UCLA men’s basketball coach
“Mark played a significant role at UCLA on important marketing and sponsorship initiatives that set the university apart as one of the nation’s best. He was a valued partner to the Pac-12 and I am confident he will do a great job at USF.” -Larry Scott, Pac-12 Conference Commissioner
“We in the American Athletic Conference congratulate Mark and extend to him a warm welcome. We are delighted that he will be associated with our Conference. He comes to USF superbly prepared with a varied and impressive background, and he will do a great job building on what Doug Woolard has accomplished. Mark will be an ideal steward of the next phase of the development of USF’s athletic programs. I congratulate President Judy Genshaft on this appointment, and also recognize her, the search committee and Bob Beaudine for their efforts in identifying a candidate of this caliber. We look forward to working with Mark and his staff.” –Mike Aresco, American Athletic Conference Commissioner
“Mark Harlan is a tremendous leader of people. The University of South Florida hit a home run. Mark is someone who is a great person, a great leader, a phenomenal fundraiser and his word is gold. When he tells you something you can count on it. The University of South Florida got better the day they announced Mark Harlan as their athletic director. You are going to see someone that is going to invest in USF athletics.” -Chris Del Conte, TCU Director of Athletics
“Mark is a very talented and rising leader in Division I collegiate athletic administration. I commend President Grenshaft, the search committee and Bob Beaudine. They have selected the right person to follow the excellence that Doug Woolard has had in student success over the last 10 years. Mark is exceptional at building consensus and creating real vision and real excitement.” -Tom Bowen, Memphis Director of Athletics
“I think the number one quality that Mark possesses is he connects with people of all stripes so well. He connects with athletes, administrative personnel, boosters; He’s just one of those people that’s always been able to do that. His path has been very interesting, because he has been at all different levels. Northern Colorado was one kind of experience. His experience at Arizona was with one of the great athletic departments in the country. When he came to San Jose State, he was instrumental with us lifting that program in many different ways. Then at UCLA he was in the middle of the football coach search, the basketball coach search and was the point-man for raising money for Pauley Pavilion and now the football facility. I just think he is infinitely well-qualified with his personal characteristics, his experience, and the fact that he is an engaging, gregarious person. He has seen teamwork in athletic departments that have really made it work where people are working together and are all part of a team. He’s so ready.” -Dick Tomey, Former Arizona and San Jose State football coach
The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.