Rochelle hired by foundation

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Saturday, February 16, 2013
Sean Rochelle was named executive director of the Razorback Foundation on Friday.
Sean Rochelle was named executive director of the Razorback Foundation on Friday.

— Sean Rochelle, a long-time administrator in the University of Arkansas athletics department, was named executive director of the Razorback Foundation on Friday.

Ken Mourton, Razorback Foundation chairman, made the announcement two days after Chris Wyrick moved from the executive director’s position to vice chancellor for UA advancement.

The foundation will have its third executive director in seven months, following Harold Horton’s resignation from the post last July.

Rochelle, 45, grew up in Elkins, graduated with an undergraduate degree from Arkansas-Monticello and earned a masters and doctorate degrees from Arkansas.

“You grow up locally thinking about how you can be connected to the Razorback program,” Rochelle said. “For me, this is kind of a dream come true.”

The date for Rochelle to take the leadership role at the foundation has not been set. Rochelle also was under consideration for the executive director’s position at the foundation following Horton’s resignation last summer.

“Sean has been instrumental in the recent success of the Razorback Foundation, including helping grow membership and annual fund support to record levels,” Mourton said in a release. “His familiarity with our state and program, combined with his extensive experience within intercollegiate athletics, will provide the Razorback Foundation the experienced leadership it needs to continue to move progressively forward.”

Rochelle has been part of the foundation’s growth in recent years. The fundraising arm for Razorback athletics grew to a record membership of just less than 13,000 in 2011-2012, the same year its annual fund topped $20 million for the first time.

“Fundamentally, one of the most important things we can continue or improve on is to show the people of Arkansas how important it is to connect them to the University of Arkansas,” Rochelle said. “We need them to be a part of what we’re doing. Every membership matters and we need you now more than ever.”

Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long said Rochelle’s ties to foundation members across the state will prove valuable.

“Sean will provide our foundation a passionate leader who possesses the vision necessary to continue the efforts to modernize and grow our fund raising efforts,” Long said in a release. “He will play a pivotal role in helping lead our efforts to secure funding for facility projects developed from our athletic facilities master plan, including the student-athlete success center, the basketball practice facility and the baseball and track indoor training facility.” Rochelle, a two-time academic All-America quarterback at Arkansas-Monticello, led the Boll Weevils to their only 10-victory season and was named co-offensive player of the year for the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference in 1988. He went on to serve as a graduate assistant coach under Ken Hatfield at Arkansas and Clemson, then as an assistant coach at UAM before transitioning to athletic administration.

He worked five years at Azusa Pacific University then returned to his home state. Rochelle worked in both the men’s and women’s athletic departments at Arkansas before taking the post of director of development for the combined departments, and he joined the Razorback Foundation in 2008. He has most recently been a senior associate director at the foundation.

Sean Rochelle glance POSITION Executive director of Razorback Foundation AGE 45 (born May 26, 1967) HOMETOWN Elkins FAMILY Wife Caroline, daughters Abigail, Ellison and Lilly NOTEWORTHY Played quarterback at Arkansas-Monticello, where he earned his undergraduate degree. Received a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas in 1989 and a doctorate from the UA in 1999. Inducted into the UAM Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. Earned the UAM Alumni Award for Achievement and Merit in 2010.

Sports, Pages 21 on 02/16/2013