FAYETTE — Upper Iowa University announced Rick Hartzell as the University’s new director of athletics Thursday. Hartzell will assume his responsibilities Jan. 3.
Hartzell is the former director of athletics at the University of Northern Iowa.
UIU President William R. Duffy II said Hartzell “brings a wealth of experience and a documented record of success in fostering environments in which student-athletes thrive in the classroom and on the playing field, as evidenced by his tenures as athletic director at Bucknell University and University of Northern Iowa.
“Our athletic administration team and coaching staffs are made up of dedicated and talented individuals, and I believe Rick is the ideal person to provide leadership and vision that continue to move us forward.”
Hartzell is no stranger to Northeast Iowa; he served as the director of athletics at Northern Iowa from 1999 through 2008. During his time with the Panthers, he oversaw 18 intercollegiate sports, 475 student-athletes, 65 coaches, 7 administrators and 22 support staff. Hartzell initiated the construction plans for the McLeod Center and worked hand-in-hand with the Northern Iowa Development Office to raise all of the required funds to build the facility.
“I am humbled to have been selected to serve Upper Iowa University as its next director of athletics,” said Hartzell. “I’ve long known that UIU is a special place and I am confident that its very best days are ahead. The quality of the student-athletes, faculty, staff, alumni and all those I have met throughout this search process cause me to be proud as a Peacock to join the UIU family today.”
Prior to his arrival at UNI, Hartzell was the director of athletics at both Bucknell University from 1988 through 1999 and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County from 1985 to 1988. In his time in athletic administration, Hartzell developed championship-level athletic programs, found success in fundraising and hired several highly successful head coaches and staff.
In addition to his three stints as director of athletics, Hartzell held administrative positions at Northwestern University and University of Iowa and coaching positions at Iowa, Coe College and Northern Iowa.
Upper Iowa’s Athletics Department sponsors 16 sports at the NCAA Division II level and as well as varsity cheer and dance. The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference is home to 14 of the Peacock programs including baseball, women’s and men’s basketball, women’s cross country, football, women’s and men’s golf, women’s soccer, softball, women’s tennis, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, volleyball and wrestling.
UIU’s men’s soccer team competes in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association and the women’s lacrosse team, which begins competition in the spring of 2019, will battle in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.