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Hamrick stepping down as MU athletic director

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University President Jerome A. Gilbert today announced the university’s long-time athletic director Mike Hamrick is stepping down June 30 to assume a new role at the university.
Gilbert said he has appointed Jeff O’Malley, associate director of athletics and chief of staff, to serve as interim athletic director, effective July 1.
Gilbert announced in April he would not seek an extension of his own contract and will step down in July 2022. He said today that the interim appointment of O’Malley would permit the university’s next president to participate in the selection process for a new athletic director.
On July 1, Hamrick will assume the role of special assistant to the president for one year, where he will be focused on fundraising and facilities planning for the university’s previously announced baseball stadium project.
“Mike Hamrick has done an excellent job as athletic director and I am disappointed he is no longer able to serve in that capacity,” said Gilbert.
“In his role as special assistant to the president, I will be working with him and others to raise money, and to plan for facilities and other improvements for the university.”
Patrick Farrell, chairman of the university’s board of governors, said, “The board thanks Mike Hamrick for his many years of service. He is a true son of Marshall and always will be. We are pleased he will remain at the university in his new role and will help us get the baseball stadium built.”
Hamrick recently completed his 31st season as a Division I athletic director. He has been at Marshall since 2009 and is the university’s second-longest serving athletic director, behind only the legendary Cam Henderson.
During his tenure at Marshall, there have been historical achievements—athletically and academically.
Just last month, the men’s soccer team won the NCAA national championship following a Sweet 16 appearance the previous season.
The school has boasted Conference USA’s winningest football program for the past decade and in 2018-19 four Marshall athletic programs—football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and softball—won postseason games, which is an unprecedented feat for the university.
The 2019-20 academic year was also historic in the classroom. In the fall 2019 semester, 42 student-athletes received a 4.0 grade-point average. In spring 2020, that number rose to 68. The overall student-athlete GPA was 3.12 in fall 2019 and 3.20 in spring 2020.
In recent years, Hamrick spearheaded the Vision Campaign, which was the most ambitious fundraising effort in Marshall Athletics history. The campaign raised more than $33 million in private dollars to enhance Herd facilities, including the Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex and the Chris Cline Indoor Athletic Facility.
In all, more than $50 million in facility improvements have been completed during Hamrick’s tenure, including $3.1 million in significant upgrades to the Cam Henderson Center—highlighted by a state-of-the-art video scoreboard. Hamrick also significantly upgraded the school’s football scheduling with home-and-homes games against Purdue, NC State, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Army, Navy and East Carolina, and road contests at Notre Dame and Penn State. The program operated without any major NCAA violations during his term.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail named him its 2019 West Virginia Sportsperson of the Year and he is serving his second consecutive term on the NCAA’s prestigious Division I Football Oversight Committee.
O’Malley is in his 19th year as associate director and chief of staff, with oversight of men’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s golf and baseball, as well as the department’s academics and compliance offices.
Gilbert said, “Jeff O’Malley is an outstanding athletic administrator and someone who is highly capable of directing our athletic department in an interim basis over the next year or more.
“I look forward to working with him to continue the process of planning for a baseball stadium and other additions and improvements in athletics. When the next president starts a search for a permanent athletic director, I have indicated to Jeff that he will be allowed to apply if he is interested.”
In his current role, O’Malley is directly involved with planning the department’s $30 million budget and has played a major role in the high-profile hires of football and men’s basketball coaches, and in the negotiation of media and marketing rights.
He is the Athletics Department’s liaison with the university’s general counsel and has been a member of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee and served on the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee.
O’Malley came to Marshall after serving as associate athletic director for compliance and regulatory affairs for six years at the University of Massachusetts.
A graduate of Miami University (Ohio) with a degree in accounting, he earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Dayton and is a member of the Ohio Bar. In addition to his time at Massachusetts, O’Malley also served as compliance coordinator at the University of Dayton.