The 38-year old Hocutt came to Miami from Ohio University, where he held the same position. Prior to that, Hocutt was the associate athletic director for external operations and sports administration at the University of Oklahoma.
On paper, one would be hard-pressed to consider Lubbock, Texas an upgrade from Coral Gables, Florida – but for a Texas native and Big XII guy (aside from working at Oklahoma and hailing from Texas, the athletic director is a Kansas State graduate) – Hocutt felt the opportunity was too good to pass up.
As discussed in this blog when Al Golden was hired, Hocutt is an up-and-comer – just like the head coach he hired. Hard working, looking to make a name for himself and attempting to climb the ladder, Hocutt was never going to stay at Miami forever – though most would agree that two-and-a-half years, while not waiting to see The Golden Era come to fruition, feel a bit premature.
Aside from the Golden hire, Hocutt helped drum up funds for a new facility that will house a new locker room, as well as overseeing construction of a new basketball practice facility and upgrades to A-Rod Park at Mark Light Field.
Miami also rose in APR rankings in several sports on Hocutt’s watch and recorded a program-best Graduation Success Rate (86%).
Personally, I don’t necessarily ‘get’ the move – but I don’t need to. Hocutt felt this was the right time to make the leap and allCanesBlog.com wishes him the best with this new experience.
I always felt Hocutt’s career path would lead him somewhere bigger a few years from now; most notably when the Golden project bears fruit and Kirby’s resume looks that much more impressive. Then again, there’s the proverbial “what if” regarding Miami’s recent hire and should that not turn out as well as many hope, that combined with the Randy Shannon contact extension would drop Hocutt’s stock and maybe a Texas Tech opportunity never arises.
If Hocutt is looking to continue climbing the ranks as an athletic director, Texas Tech is a good place to make his mark; especially if he’s someday eyeing something bigger within the conference. In due time there will be an opening at Oklahoma or Texas and in his early to mid 40s, Hocutt would be a desirable candidate, barring he is a success with the Red Raiders.
Hocutt didn’t make three years at Miami, but fans need to focus on what was done in that time – namely ending the Shannon era and kicking off a Golden one. There was talk that at one point Donna Shalala and Hocutt were at odds regarding Shannon’s future, but the athletic director held steadfast in his opinion that change was needed.
From there, Hocutt kicked off an extensive search for the right head coach at ‘The U’ and in the end, reeled in Coach Golden – who absolutely looks like an amazing fit early in the game.
For Miami, another big hire is coming up and here’s hoping that the same tenacity and decision-making that went into hiring Golden is made when replacing Hocutt.