The last year and a half for the University of Alaska Anchorage Athletic Department have been marked by winning, the threat of change and more recently, change itself.
Monday, the biggest of those dominos fell as Athletic Director Keith Hackett resigned from his post, after three and a half years on the job. Though the program has seen some of its greatest success on the fields and courts of competition during Hackett’s tenure, it has not been without difficulty.
In February 2016, KTVA sat down with Hackett as he outlined his concerns for some of his program’s viability — given the severe budget issues the state had endured since the price of oil has plummeted. Those concerns came to fruition last fall when it was announced that the skiing and men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams would be cut. In an eleventh hour move, the programs were restored, but, the dark financial clouds continue to hover.
However, the changes keep coming. The department’s two athletic communications representatives will be gone by September. Also, longtime gymnastics coach Paul Stoklos recently announced his retirement after 33 years with the program.
During Hackett’s tenure at UAA, 94 student-athletes have been named All-American. The women’s volleyball and basketball teams also reached the national finals.
Hackett will take the same post at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. The move puts him much closer to his family. His son lives in Minnesota.
In a statement on UAA’s website, Hackett said, “My experience at UAA has been terrific and I want to thank Chancellor (Tom) Case for giving me the opportunity to lead the Seawolf athletic program.”
His last day with the Seawolves will be July 7.