Keith Hackett is hoping for the best, but bracing for the worst.

 

The University of Alaska Anchorage athletic director knows that budget cuts are coming to his department. How significant those cuts will be, is the question. He’ll have his answer once the legislators in Juneau decide on the state’s fiscal plan.

 

In an interview with KTVA, Hackett reinforced his claim from two months ago — that everything is on the table and is a candidate to go, including teams and the longtime staple, the Great Alaska Shootout.

 

The department’s budget is $10.5 million annually, and the cut could be deep.

 

“We could potentially have a reduction of $1.7 million and that would be about a third of our general dollars that we receive annually, so it’s a significant impact,” Hackett said.

 

He keeps the UAA coaches in the loop. Being “transparent” is important to Hackett, now in his third year in Anchorage. He has nearly 40 years in the business, but says this issue is the tough part of sitting in an athletic director’s chair.

 

“When I get up in the morning, I’m thinking about the budget. When I go to sleep at night, I’m thinking about the budget,” he said. “Most of my days in the last three weeks have been focused on the budget. We just have to wait for the final numbers to come in.”

 

And once he has those numbers, he’ll tackle one of the greatest challenges of his career — what stays and what goes.

 

 

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