Another big name in Kansas Athletics backs Army Deputy AD Mike Harrity for KU’s open AD job

photo by: Matt Tait

The clock on the video board at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium counts down to kickoff before KU's season opener against Coastal Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020.

Throw another big name in Kansas Athletics history behind KU alum Mike Harrity as a candidate for the Jayhawks’ open athletic director job.

KU basketball legend Danny Manning, has expressed interest himself in KU’s vacant AD position, has now thrown his support behind Army’s Deputy AD/Chief Operating Officer.

Harrity, you may remember, received a similar endorsement from former KU football coach Mark Mangino last week.

“KU needs a Jayhawk as the new AD who has an elite level of broad experience in college athletics,” Manning tweeted on Tuesday. “Mike Harrity is what WE need.”

Manning continued: “As an alum, Mike shares the same passion and will invest the energy to restore Kansas Athletics to what it needs to be – humble/hungry as we strive for excellence in all that we do.”

Harrity grew up in Kansas City, Kan., and earned a journalism scholarship to KU, where he became the first person in his entire extended family to graduate from college.

After graduating, Harrity worked in KU’s athletic department for a handful of years and was responsible for developing, coordinating and executing the Kansas Athletics staff’s community involvement, outreach and relationship-building while also heading up relationship-building and outreach to former student-athletes who have achieved success in professional athletics and business.

After leaving Kansas, Harrity spent several years as an Associate AD at Notre Dame, where he started in 2011.

In 2017, Harrity was selected as one of 25 senior-level athletics administrators from across the country to participate in the NCAA Pathway Program.

The yearlong program is designed to prepare those currently in senior-level positions to gain insight into every facet of an athletic department, preparing them to become well-rounded leaders who are equipped with the tools an effective athletic director needs.

Hired by Army in February of 2020, Harrity currently oversees several of the day-to-day functions of Army’s athletic department, including all external units — fundraising/development, ticketing and strategic communication, which includes Army’s athletic communications, marketing and fan engagement endeavors, digital and social strategies and creative video and broadcasting.

He also has been involved with Army’s plans to embark upon a major capital campaign to enhance Michie Stadium and assisted with the administration oversight for Army Football in addition to serving as a sport administrator for other varsity sports teams.

Throughout his career, Harrity has worked in college athletics programs in the Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and Patriot League.

Here’s a quick look at some of the latest chatter I’ve heard about KU’s AD search:

• The Journal-World has learned that well-known search firm TurnkeyZRG will assist Kansas in its search for a new athletic director.

• Multiple sources have told me the process is moving fast — perhaps even faster than expected — and that KU Chancellor Douglas Girod’s March 10 timeline of making a hire “within the next few weeks” is still in play.

• As of last Sunday, it was still too early to consider any candidate the leader.

• A couple of names worth adding to our original list include: Travis Goff, Deputy AD at Northwestern; Missy Conboy, Senior Deputy AD at Notre Dame; Mike Bohn, a KU graduate who is now the AD at USC; and Mark Alnutt, the current AD at Buffalo.


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