John Harvey, director of athletics and head baseball coach at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has decided to relinquish his duties as athletics director to concentrate on baseball, according to a joint announcement by Harvey and UAM Chancellor Karla Hughes.
Harvey is the most successful baseball coach in UAM history, posting a record of 223-165 in eight seasons. In the four seasons prior to Harvey’s arrival, the Boll Weevils were 35-143. In the last three seasons, UAM has won two Great American Conference Tournament Championships and the 2018 GAC regular season title. Harvey’s 2016 team, led by NCAA Division II National Player of the Year Corey Wood, came within one game of the Division II College World Series.
“Baseball has always been my first love and I want to see UAM baseball continue to improve,” said Harvey, who added the athletics director duties last year. “Directing an intercollegiate athletics program while coaching an individual sport is a difficult proposition, and I don’t believe me continuing to do both is the best thing for the department right now. With that being said, giving up coaching is not something I am ready to do. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to serve as the AD over the past year and a half for so many great athletes and coaches.”
Hughes called Harvey “an invaluable asset to the university and to our program in intercollegiate athletics. John is one of the outstanding baseball coaches at the Division II level and has built a baseball program in which we can all take pride,” said Hughes. “The model of a coach also serving as athletic director is becoming a thing of the past and we will begin the process of bringing the UAM athletics program in line with other successful programs at the Division II level.”
Hughes said she plans to add a chief operating officer for athletics to handle the daily operation of the department, a position that will eventually become an associate athletic director for operations. “Eventually, we’d like to name a director to serve as the face of the program while raising private funding for intercollegiate athletics,” Hughes explained. “To maintain a competitive edge and provide the athletic experience our student-athletes deserve, it is imperative that the athletics director focus on fund raising and building relationships with our former athletes.”