Harlan has had remarkable success since coming to Utah in 2018, culminating in being named the 2023 Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) in March.
“Mark is one of the top athletic directors in the country,” said President Taylor Randall. “He is the right person at the right time to continue leading our athletic programs as we navigate the changing landscape of collegiate athletics. I look forward to continued partnership with him and his impressive leadership team in the years ahead.”
Harlan has guided the Utah Athletics department to unprecedented achievements, including the Utes’ highest final ranking in the LEARFIELD Director’s Cup for 2022-23, 10 conference championships won by seven teams, and a school-record eight teams reaching the postseason for the second year in a row. Over the past five years Utah’s teams have won 24 conference championships and four NCAA championships.
The success in competition parallels record-setting academic achievements by Utah’s student-athletes, success in fundraising, athletics facilities upgrades, and a commitment to improving the experience and mental well-being for student-athletes. Harlan’s success includes a commitment to working with student-athletes to navigate NIL through the university’s collaborative Elevate U program.
“I’m grateful for the show of support from President Randall, and I look forward to the continued success of our student-athletes in the classroom, competition and community,” said Harlan. “I’m incredibly proud of the achievements our programs have earned in recent years, and the culture of excellence that has been established. I’m also grateful for the hard work of everybody in our Utah Athletics family, and the incredible support from our fans and donors. Our student-athletes, coaches and staff are elite, and it is a privilege to continue to lead this department.”
Utah’s 10 conference championships in 2022-23 are comprised of regular season titles and conference championship games or meets, and include six Pac-12 titles, two in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association and two by the lacrosse program in the ASUN (regular season and conference tournament). The Utes have won back-to-back Pac-12 football championships and made consecutive appearances in the Rose Bowl. The skiing program won its fourth consecutive NCAA Championship in March, the gymnastics program has finished third at the NCAA Championships for three years in a row, the women’s basketball team made its third trip to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in program history and the softball program reached the Women’s College World Series for the first time in 29 years. Men’s tennis earned a share of the Pac-12 regular season crown and joined women’s cross-country in advancing to the NCAA Championships.
The Utes’ 93% score in the most recent NCAA (Graduation Success Rate) GSR report marked its fifth consecutive year at 93% or higher and tied for the fourth-highest figure among Power 5 public institutions. Four Utah Athletics programs earned perfect multi-year marks of 1000 in the 2021-22 APR report, and 12 teams earned perfect 1000 single-year scores.
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