SEC Athletic Directors on the Hot Seat

While SEC athletic directors like Georgia's Josh Brooks and Alabama's Greg Byrne are nowhere near the hot seat, others are. The main reason you ask? Football success of course; for the most part that is. In this article, I give my list of SEC athletic directors that I believe are on the hot seat at their respective schools.
Kentucky v Florida
Kentucky v Florida / James Gilbert/GettyImages

At every SEC school, football ultimately drives the majority of the revenue, and therefore whether or not coaches keep their jobs, right? Well, mostly. Although secondary sports such as baseball and basketball play a part somewhat.

Regardless, I think it is safe to say that the majority of whether or not athletic directors retain their positions is based off of football.

Here are the SEC Athletic Director who are on the Hot Seat Right Now

Hunter Yurachek (Arkansas)

Yurachek has been front and center in the news lately with the coaching change in basketball at the University of Arkansas between losing Eric Musselman and rumored to be soon to hire John Calipari. .

How we got here is interesting however. In a seemingly great position, the Razorbacks basketball program was in a great position heading into the 2023-2024 season after Musselman led them to back-to-back sweet 16 appearances in the two seasons prior. After the program fell flat going 16-17 this season, questions about whether Musselman would remain in Fayetteville surfaced.

After Yurachek’s recent antics in a social media video he posted, this must not have set well with Musselman who exited quickly after for the job at USC.

This incident came on the heels of a disappointing fourth season for Arkansas head football coach, Sam Pittman who Yurachek hired back in 2019 to try to revive a program that previous head coach Chad Morris left in shambles. Pittman’s overall record in four seasons with the Hogs is only 23-25. That is not going to get it done in the SEC, let alone any conference.

Yurachek had a hand in hiring Morris as well who was onboarded two days after he was hired in Fayetteville back in 2017. As mentioned, Morris did not work out well going only 4-18 in two seasons with the Hogs before being fired in 2019.

Both Yurachek and Pittman are hoping former Arkansas football head coach, Bobby Petrino
will be their saving grace as he returns to Fayetteville for the 2024 season as the team’s offensive coordinator.

Well, they will have to do a lot of hoping because if Pittman and Petrino do not turn the Hogs football team around, Yurachek could be ousted.

Even if Calipari ends up leading the basketball to success, let me not remind you that football moves the meter.

Mitch Barnhart (Kentucky)

Like Yurachek mentioned above, Barnhart has been squarely in the headlines for a lot of basketball news at his school in Lexington lately as John Calipari who has led the Kentucky Wildcats the last 15 seasons has opted to resign from his position.

Presumably, Calipari is working out finalizing a deal with the Arkansas Razorbacks to be their next head coach. But as of right now, Calipari is jobless and opted on his own to leave the Wildcats.

While football moves the needle at most universities in the SEC, Kentucky is an exception to this rule as one of the blue bloods of college basketball.

While there is a list of options to replace Calipari as the schools next head coach, Barnhart better get it right, because Kentucky basketball fans and boosters will not stand for anything less than deep tournament runs. And by deep that means final fours and national championships.

Scott Stricklin (Florida)

The former Mississippi State athletic director took the same position with the Florida Gators in 2016.

The last time Florida was prominent on the football field was during the Urban Meyer years from 2005-2010. Since then, the Gators have gone through four different head coaches, being on their fourth currently in Billy Napier who is headed into his third year at the swamp.

Stricklin is responsible for hiring Two of these four coaches in Napier and Dan Mullen. And if Napier does not work out, it will have been the third one he will have had to fire.

Although Florida Baseball has had recent success under head coach Kevin O’Sullivan, Stricklin will not get credit for this hire as O’Sullivan has been in Gainesville since 2008.

Stricklin did bring on current men’s basketball coach, Todd Golden who just finished his second season with the Gators going 24-12 after a 16-17 campaign in year one.

Despite the basketball team appearing to be on the up and up, we all know football drives the needle in Gainesville. So if Napier does not work out, that will simply be 0-2 in the eyes of Gator fans and boosters. In my opinion, that is more than enough cause for someone to be let go that has been in seat for over eight years now.