UMass athletic director John McCutcheon leaving for UCSB

Last modified: Thursday, August 13, 2015

The UMass athletic department is looking for a new leader to guide it through an important time.

Multiple UMass sources have confirmed that athletic director John McCutcheon has been hired to fill the same post at University of California-Santa Barbara. An official announcement is expected later this afternoon.UMass is set to begin a search for his replacement immediately. An interim athletic director will be announced shortly as well.

The 61-year-old McCutcheon interviewed for the job in late November and admitted he was a finalist for the post in early December.

Before UMass, McCutcheon was the athletic director at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, which is just under 100 miles north of Santa Barbara.

McCutcheon, who previously served as the associate athletic director for business at Boston College, was hired in 2004 to stabilize the athletic department. After Bob Marcum retired in 2002, UMass had three different men leading the department – interim directors Bill Strickland and Thorr Bjorn as well as Ian McCaw, who was hired for the full-time post in 2002, but left to lead Baylor after less than a year.

McCutcheon has a contract in place through 2016 that pays him $259,338 annually.

During his tenure, McCutcheon has hired two men’s basketball coaches, four football coaches and has overseen the building or upgrading of several facilities including the recently finished football performance center and press box, and the men’s basketball practice facility, which is expected to be completed in 2015.

However, the defining aspect of his tenure will be the upgrade of the football program from the Championship Subdivision to the Bowl Subdivision.

Whoever is leading the department in the near future will play an important role in finding a new conference for the football program when the Minutemen leave the MAC following the 2015 season. Conference affiliation will strongly affect UMass’ ability to control costs and find new revenue streams for the program going forward.


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