Chancellor’s offer stands despite loss

By: Bob Holt
Published: Thursday, December 7, 2017
Joe Steinmetz (left), chancellor of the University of Arkansas, speaks Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, alongside Hunter Yurachek after Yurachek was introduced as the new director of athletics at the University of Arkansas during a news conference in the Fowler Family Baseball and Track Indoor Training Center in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Joe Steinmetz (left), chancellor of the University of Arkansas, speaks Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, alongside Hunter Yurachek after Yurachek was introduced as the new director of athletics at the University of Arkansas during a news conference in the Fowler Family Baseball and Track Indoor Training Center in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Chancellor Joe Steinmetz and new Razorbacks Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek sat next to each other Wednesday at an introductory news conference, members of the same team.

Four days earlier, Steinmetz and Yurachek found themselves on opposite sides of Arkansas' basketball game against the University of Houston.

Yurachek cheered on the Cougars in their 91-65 victory over the Razorbacks on Saturday night in his role as Houston's athletic director.

Earlier Saturday, Yurachek interviewed with Steinmetz and LPGA standout Stacy Lewis -- a former NCAA champion golfer at Arkansas who lives in Houston and was a member of the search advisory committee -- for the Razorbacks' athletic director vacancy.

Yurachek, who accepted Steinmetz's job offer Monday, talked to Mike Anderson, the Razorbacks' men's basketball coach, on Tuesday by phone and again Wednesday during a meeting with all of the coaches and athletic department staff members.

"I just talked to Coach Anderson," Yurachek said. "I said I went from Saturday being a great win to today that being a bad loss."

Lance Harter, the Razorbacks' women's cross country and track and field coach, also was a member of the search committee.

"Yeah, we lost the basketball game, but we stole their AD," Harter said. "Unfortunately, Mike had to endure a loss, but the win was we were able to get their AD to come to Arkansas."

Steinmetz previously was scheduled to be in Houston for two alumni association events and to attend the basketball game. That he and Lewis could interview Yurachek was a bonus.

"It's been on my schedule for the last couple of months," Steinmetz said of the Houston trip. "It worked out perfectly. The timing was great for that to come together."

Yurachek joked about the basketball game's outcome when Steinmetz offered him the job.

"When I called Hunter to let him know that he was my choice, the first thing he asked me was, 'Is the job still available?' since they beat us," Steinmetz said. "I told him, the answer was 'Yes.' "

Sports on 12/07/2017

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