Kirby Hocutt (@kirbyhocutt on twitter) was officially named Texas Tech's 13th athletics director in school history on March 2, 2011. He joined the Red Raider family after spending two and a half years at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla.
Hocutt, who was recognized with Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal Forty Under 40 Award, as one of the most promising young executives in sports business, becomes the 13th athletics director in school history and replaces Gerald Myers, who announced his retirement from the post last fall.
Hocutt, 39, is no stranger to the Big 12 Conference as both a student-athlete at Kansas State and as an administrator at both Kansas State and Oklahoma. A four-year letterman on the Wildcat football team, Hocutt led the former Big 8 Conference in tackles his junior season, while earning All-Big 8 accolades. Following his playing career, he moved over to administration where he served as assistant director of marketing and promotions at Kansas State. He later served seven years at the University of Oklahoma where he oversaw fundraising efforts for the Sooners and was the primary administrator for the OU football program.
Hocutt comes to Texas Tech from the University of Miami, where he was named athletics director on Feb. 8, 2008. While at Miami, he oversaw $26 million in new projects, including the construction of a basketball practice facility, as well as upgrades to Alex Rodriguez at Mark Light Field (Baseball), the Neil Schiff Tennis Center and Cobb Stadium (Women's Soccer/Track & Field).
Under his direction in 2010, Miami recorded a program-best Graduation Success Rate of 86 percent, while all 18 teams excelled in the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate Report (APR). Led by the Hurricanes football program - who has posted a multi-year APR score in the top 10 percent - Miami finished sixth in the APR in 2010, and is the only Bowl Championship Subdivision (BCS) team among the 26 schools recognized that finished ranked in the final USA Today Coaches Poll and Associated Press Poll following the 2009 season. In addition, UM’s football program was the co-recipient of the American Football Coaches Association’s 2009 Academic Achievement Award, graduating 100 percent of its freshman football student-athlete class of 2002.
At the age of 33, Hocutt got his first opportunity as an athletic director at the Division I level with the Ohio University Bobcats, in 2005. At Ohio, Hocutt significantly reorganized the athletic department’s annual giving program, increasing fundraising by more than 75 percent, including the securing of the second largest major gift in school athletics history. He also increased season ticket sales in football by 112 percent and in men’s basketball by 50 percent. He developed a comprehensive plan to improve the facilities for the football stadium and the press box, as well as the Convocation Center which houses all administrative and coaches’ offices.
In his three years at Ohio, the school won 11 team championships and four head coaches were recognized as conference coaches of the year. In 2006, the football team played in its first bowl game in 38 years.
After a stint as the assistant coordinator of licensing at the NCAA, Hocutt joined the staff at the University of Oklahoma in 1998, where he oversaw the fundraising efforts for the Sooners and was the primary administrator for football and sports supervisor for baseball and men’s and women’s golf. His duties included supervision of the athletics development office, athletics ticket office, special events, stadium suite program, athletics endowment program, letter winners association and the department’s facility use and rental program.
Hocutt led Oklahoma’s athletics fundraising to an all-time high in annual giving and capital campaigns. From 1998 to 2005, Oklahoma’s annual giving increased from $3.4 million to more than $17 million. That 400 percent increase in annual giving was one of the highest percentage increases in intercollegiate athletics history. Beginning in 1999, Hocutt served in a leadership position in the strategic planning for a $100 million capital campaign. The $120 million campaign was unique in that it focused on facility construction or improvements for each of Oklahoma’s 20 sports.
Prior to joining the Oklahoma staff, Hocutt served as the assistant director of licensing at the NCAA. In that position, he worked with corporate partners and licensees to create new revenue producing initiatives to support and promote all 81 NCAA championships.
Hocutt earned his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State in 1995 and his master’s of education degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2001. He and his wife, Diane, have two sons: Drew and Brooks.