Yurachek makes hire to inner circle

By: Matt Jones
Published: Friday, February 15, 2019
Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek is shown during a football game against Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Fayetteville.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek is shown during a football game against Eastern Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, in Fayetteville.

— University of Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek has made a hire to his administrative staff.

Yurachek announced the hiring of Rick Thorpe from Rutgers on Friday as the department's deputy athletics director for external engagement. Thorpe is one of four deputy ADs in the department, along with Julie Cromer-Peoples, Jon Fagg and Clayton Hamilton.

Deputy ADs are one rung below Yurachek in the department hierarchy and oversee the day-to-day management of various units.

Thorpe will oversee marketing, promotions, ticket sales, digital and creative services, branding, licensing, community engagement, communications, multimedia rights and broadcast services, and serve as the department's liaison to the Razorback Foundation. He also will be the administrator for the Razorbacks' volleyball program.

Thorpe replaces Chris Freet, who left for a similar job at Kansas last October after four years at Arkansas.

“In his more than 25 years as an athletics administrator in intercollegiate athletics and professional sports, Rick has been a tremendous asset and brought value to every organization of which he has been a part," Yurachek said in a statement. "Rick is energetic and has a passion for intercollegiate athletics. Those are qualities that have served him well throughout his career and fit perfectly with the tremendous passion Razorback fans have for our university and our program throughout Arkansas and beyond.”

Thorpe has been in a similar role at Rutgers since 2017. Prior to that he worked at Georgia Tech from 2012-17 and the PGA Tour from 2006-11. He also has had jobs on college campuses at Connecticut, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

Thorpe is a 1993 graduate of Penn State.

In addition to Thorpe's appointment, Yurachek announced Friday the promotion of Cromer-Peoples to senior deputy athletics director for administration. Cromer-Peoples served as the UA's interim athletics director for nearly three weeks in 2017 and is the administrator for football and women's golf.

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