BY KATHERINE BAUER AND JOSH COOK
After nearly three months without one, Drake University has a new athletic director. The announcement came at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Brian Hardin is a Des Moines native and will be moving into the position on Dec. 11, according to a Drake press release. He will be Drake’s 17th athletic director.
“After a robust, national search with a deep pool of highly qualified prospects, it became clear that Brian was the right fit for Drake,” Drake President Marty Martin said in the press release. “His reputation for success and integrity in all facets of athletics administration at Division I institutions immediately attracted us to him.”
Hardin is currently a deputy director of athletics at Marquette University.
The hire came after Sandy Hatfield-Clubb left the position in early August. At the time, Martin said he hoped to hire a new director by the end of the football season. The associate athletic director at the time, Megan Franklin, became the interim athletic director.
Hardin is a Des Moines native; he graduated from Valley High School in West Des Moines, when he competed on the Blue Oval at the Drake Relays. His parents are both Drake graduates, so he is familiar with the school.
After graduating from Valley, Hardin attended Marquette University in Milwaukee where he also worked for their sports marketing program.
After leaving Marquette, Hardin went to work at Loyola Chicago as a sports information intern before becoming a member of the media relations team for the Chicago Bears.
Following his job with the Bears, he worked at Notre Dame as the director of football media relations as well as working a stint as the Ball State University interim athletic director.
According to a former co-worker at Notre Dame, coming back to Drake as an athletic director is a “dream” for Hardin.
“I am so grateful to President Martin and the search committee for this exciting opportunity,” Hardin said in the press release. “I look forward to building upon the University’s storied past and helping create an even brighter future for our student athletes, fans, alumni and the greater Des Moines community.”
Hardin will be taking over an athletics department facing litigation. There’s one lawsuit from a former athletic trainer and another from a former assistant women’s basketball coach. Read more about the athletic department’s lawsuit history here.