Hamrick Introduced As Athletics Director
Aug. 18, 2003
LAS VEGAS - UNLV President Carol C. Harter introduced Michael Hamrick, former director of intercollegiate athletics at East Carolina University, as UNLV's new athletics director at a press conference Monday at the Thomas & Mack Center on campus.
The Nevada State Board of Regents unanimously approved a three-year contract for Hamrick on August 15 that sets his base salary at $190,000 in 2003-04 and will increase by $10,000 each year through 2005-06. There also is an optional yearly bonus between $5,000 and $10,000 for student-athletes' academic success and progress toward graduation.
"Through the search process Mike Hamrick brought something special," Harter said. "He has a history at UNLV and knows about us and about our whole community. He is associated with a fine institution that has worked its way up to membership in Conference USA, and that league, just as ours (Mountain West), is knocking on the door of that impenetrable BCS. He has some very important experience and knowledge of that process and what it may mean to our future.
"He also has superb credentials as an administrator of budgets, as a community relations person, as a fundraiser and most important, Mike has overseen a program that graduates between 65 and 70 percent of its student-athletes. In every possible way he brings great professionalism to the program."
Hamrick has been director of intercollegiate athletics at East Carolina University since 1995. He has also served as athletics director at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock from 1990 to 1995 and in several assistant athletics director positions throughout his career. He began his career in athletics administration working as an intern at UNLV in sports promotions and marketing.
"I am happy to be here and I am excited," Hamrick said. "I am flattered, honored and humbled to have the opportunity to work with you in having a program that we can hopefully continue to take to the next level.
"They say that the athletics director is the leader and I hope that I can be a great leader here at UNLV. I started my athletic career here 22 years ago and I knew when I left that one day this would be a great place to come back to. The progress the program has made is phenomenal.
"My vision will be a shared vision. It will be one in which this entire university community, our coaches, our staff and everyone that supports our program will share and buy into. Any vision that we are going to have with this program will center around a set of core values.
"The core values here will be very simple. It will be a program that from top to bottom will be run with integrity. Our student-athletes are important to us. They will graduate. We are going to educate them and we are going to develop them. We want our student-athletes to be leaders. We are going to have a program that is fiscally sound. We are going to have a program that represents this great community and great university in a very positive way. The perception of this university and this program among the peers that I deal with on a day-to-day basis is at an all-time high and that is one of the reasons that I am here. We will have a program that has equity. Equity is critical in this day and age and we will have it."
Under Hamrick's leadership, East Carolina University had no major NCAA violations, doubled its athletics budget, doubled season football ticket sales (to 17,000), and increased single-game attendance significantly.
During his tenure at East Carolina, student-athlete graduation rates well exceeded national averages (at 66 percent). East Carolina's football program participated in four bowl games in seven years, and the baseball team was the No. 1 seed in NCAA regional competition for three straight years (1999 to 2001), the No. 7 national seed in 2002, and the No. 3 seed in 2003 for a fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA tournament.
Hamrick led the development of a comprehensive gender equity plan that increased scholarships for female student-athletes by 167 percent and worked to ensure East Carolina University's admittance into Conference USA.
Further, under Hamrick's leadership, East Carolina spent $46 million improving and building athletic facilities, and he raised $16.8 million in private funds to construct a strength and conditioning/multipurpose building and baseball stadium/office complex.