Chancellor Henry Yang announced Thursday the hiring of John McCutcheon as the university’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. McCutcheon comes to UCSB after 11 years at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he served under the same position.
McCutcheon’s start date is March 2, pending approval from the UC Office of the President, according to a written statement from Yang. He will be presented as athletic director in a press conference Tuesday.
As athletic director, McCutcheon will be in charge of overseeing UCSB’s 20 sports teams.
Yang expressed his reason for the hiring, citing McCutcheon’s experience in NCAA Division I athletics departments and commitment to coaches and student-athlete goals.
“UMass student-athletes have also had great success outside of their sport, due in part to an increased focus on academic support and a greater emphasis on student-athlete well-being through programs that he has put in place,” Yang said.
UMass athletics made major strides during McCutcheon’s tenure, including seeing its men’s basketball program make an appearance in the NCAA Tournament during the 2013-2014 for the first time in 16 years. McCutcheon also helped elevate the football program from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly known as Division I-A.
Aside from on-field accomplishments, McCutcheon also engineered upgrades to facilities by securing some of the highest levels of annual donations and corporate sponsorships for UMass.
McCutcheon has ties with the Central Coast region; he was previously Cal Poly’s athletic director for 12 years before taking the job at UMass. While at Cal Poly, McCutcheon also had a successful stint as the program won 15 conference championships.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” McCutcheon said in a statement. “When this opportunity presented itself a few months back, my wife (Sue) and I knew it was something we had to look into. Because of family situations, we left the Central Coast 11 years ago, and we very much look forward to getting back.”
He also worked in the athletic departments of Boston College and the University of Maine before his time with the Mustangs.
The hiring fills a vacancy left open since last summer, when previous athletic director Mark Massari opted to become the deputy director of athletics at Oregon State. Former UCSB athletic director, Gary Cunningham, served as interim athletic director during the hiring process.