Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Cromer Peoples hired as AD at Ohio
Arkansas interim athletics director Julie Cromer Peoples speaks during a press conference Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Julie Cromer Peoples, who served as the University of Arkansas' interim athletics director for three weeks in 2017, has been hired as the athletics director at Ohio University.
Ohio announced the hiring Thursday in a press release. In a statement, Cromer Peoples said she was "humbled and honored" to accept the position for the school that is a member of the Mid-American Conference.
She will be formally introduced at a news conference Friday in Athens, Ohio, and will begin her new job Aug. 31. She is the first female to be hired as AD at Ohio.
Cromer Peoples has spent the past five years at Arkansas, serving as a close aide to two ADs, Jeff Long and Hunter Yurachek. Among her several roles, she was the Razorbacks' senior women's administrator and the designated sport administrator for football and women's golf - and previously women's basketball - assisting in personnel matters and scheduling for those sports.
After Long was fired in November 2017, Cromer Peoples was appointed as the interim AD at Arkansas by chancellor Joe Steinmetz and oversaw a unique time period in the department's history. She was the department's voice when football coach Bret Bielema was fired 12 days following Long, leading to an unprecedented simultaneous search for a new coach and new AD.
With the help of a search firm, Cromer Peoples led the coaching search that resulted in Chad Morris being hired as the Razorbacks' football coach in early December 2017. Yurachek and Morris were introduced in their new roles on back-to-back days.
In the Ohio release Thursday, Yurachek called Cromer Peoples "one of the outstanding up and coming leaders" and "a respected voice within intercollegiate athletics." Steinmetz praised her work with the Razorbacks.
"She's been an import asset to Razorback Athletics and I appreciate her service as interim AD, which helped the program and the university immeasurably," Steinmetz said.
Cromer Peoples has won multiple national awards from peers and organizations that recognize leaders in college athletics. Prior to Arkansas, she spent most of her administrative career in the Midwest. She cut her teeth in administration at the Horizon League (then the Midwestern Collegiate Conference) in Indianapolis and was an assistant AD at Wright State in Ohio.
She returned to Indianapolis in 1999 to work for the NCAA office, where she spent 11 years working on matters pertaining largely to compliance. In 2010 she was hired to a senior-level position at Indiana, where she worked until she was hired at Arkansas in April 2014.
When she was hired as Arkansas' interim AD in 2017, University of Central Florida deputy athletics director Eric Wood called her "one of the smartest people I know, period, not just in this industry." Wood, who worked with Cromer Peoples at the NCAA office and at Arkansas, said it was only a matter of time before she would run her own department.
"She has the credibility in our field to wait for the right moment and the right job," he said.
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