Padraic McMeel, the director of athletics at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, has resigned, effective July 1, UAM Chancellor Dr. Peggy Doss announced Wednesday.
McMeel will take a similar position at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.
McMeel joined the university as director of athletics in December of 2018, just as the Weevil football team headed to its first bowl game in decades, and that energy continued.
During his tenure, he increased fundraising efforts each year, including a record $650,000 raised in the 2020-2021 academic year to date. His leadership saw a focus on the student-athlete experience, including the creation of a nutrition center shared by all sports as well as enhancing and renovating several facilities. The UAM baseball team and the men’s basketball team earned GAC conference championship titles during McMeel’s term at UAM, and several other teams have had their most competitive seasons in the history of their sports on campus. Another point of pride for McMeel is the attention on the fan experience. His resolve to make enhancements to the game day atmosphere during home competition for multiple sports led to some of the highest attendance the university has seen in recent years.
Of all his achievements at UAM, he counts the hiring of several coaches and athletics staff members at the very top. “The department has an exceptional team in place that continues to build on the foundation and legacy of UAM athletics,” he said. “I’m proud to have called each of them colleagues.”
The search committee for a new athletics director will be led by Dr. Moses Goldmon, vice chancellor for student engagement, and Cody Reaves, assistant athletics director for external affairs. Goldman will serve as chairman while Reaves will serve as vice chairman.
Other search committee members include Jim Daniels, president of First NaturalState Bank of McGehee and member of the UAM Board of Visitors; Dr. Suzanna Guizar, UAM associate professor of education; Kris Johnson, UAM men’s basketball assistant coach; Becky Phillips, UAM associate professor of accounting and faculty athletic representative; Scott Saffold, executive vice president of Union Bank in Monticello and member of the UAM Board of Visitors and the UAM Foundation Board; and Roxanne Smith, UAM Foundation accounting specialist.
While the search is underway, Jeff Weaver, UAM Vice Chancellor for Advancement, will provide oversight from the university’s executive council. Reaves will handle day-to-day athletic department operations.
“This is an exciting time for UAM, and for our department of athletics,” Doss said. “I am grateful for Padraic’s capable leadership over the last few years, and especially during this unique last year. He has positioned his successor to hit the ground running and continue building our athletic programs and supporting student-athlete success.”
The University of Arkansas at Monticello is the home of the Boll Weevils and Cotton Blossoms. The department of athletics includes 10 NCAA Division II teams that compete in the Great American Conference: football, baseball, softball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, and volleyball.