Texas Tech Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt earned one of the highest honors of his career Monday morning as he recognized with the Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year award by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Hocutt, who received the prestigious award for the first time in his career, was one of four sitting athletics directors at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level to be honored as he joined Barry Alvarez (Wisconsin), Whit Babcock (Virginia Tech) and Joe Castiglione (Oklahoma).
Since taking the reins as the 13th Director of Athletics in school history in 2011, Hocutt has guided the Tech athletics department to unprecedented success, highlighted by seven Big 12 titles in soccer, men's tennis, women's tennis, baseball and most recently men's track and field since the start of the 2015-16 academic year.
Tech has accumulated 10 total Big 12 championships during Hocutt's tenure, which has also featured two trips to the College World Series by Tim Tadlock's baseball program and Sweet 16 appearances by both the Tech soccer and women's tennis teams. The Red Raider football program has also made four bowl appearances under Hocutt, while the women's golf program recorded a fifth-placing showing at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
Most recently, Tech's athletic profile has boasted several of the nation's elite programs as five teams – baseball, men's basketball, men's track and field, women's tennis and men's golf – have all ranked in the top 10 of their respective sports since the start of January alone. The men's track and field program led by Wes Kittley is currently No. 1 in the USTFCCCA poll for the fourth-consecutive week.
Off the competition field, Hocutt has impacted Tech through philanthropic giving as The Campaign for Fearless Champions has enhanced athletic facilities across campus and has also developed the J.T. and Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy, a first-in-its-kind program designed to prepare student-athletes for success after graduation.
The Campaign for Fearless Champions is currently entering its final stages after already funding 22 facility projects while also surpassing its goal of raising $10 million for student-athlete scholarship endowments. The campaign exceeded its goal of securing a $5 million endowment for the J.T. and Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy.
In addition, Hocutt has been prominent on several national organizations, possibly none more recognizable than his role as the chairman of the College Football Selection Committee. Hocutt concluded his three-year term with the CFP this past winter, the final two years of which were served as the committee's chairman.
Hocutt was selected from a field of athletics directors across the country who met the following criteria: service as an AD for a minimum of five academic years; demonstration of commitment to higher education and student-athletes; continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence; the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments.
Additionally, each athletics director's institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body in which the institution could not have been on probation or cited for a lack of institutional control during the tenure of the current athletics director.
NACDA announced 28 total winners of the Under Armour AD of the Year award. Winners will receive their awards during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon on June 29 at NACDA's 53rd annual convention at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington D.C.