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Coyle takes reins at Boise State, Barnhart sends another pupil onward

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Mark Coyle becomes the new athletics director at Boise State University after six years under Mitch Barnhart at Kentucky. (UK Athletics) Mark Coyle becomes the new athletics director at Boise State University after six years under Mitch Barnhart at Kentucky. (UK Athletics)
It is said the best leaders help lift up and inspire those around them to greater achievements. In that vein, Mitch Barnhart is sending a protege west to fulfill his dream for the second time in 18 months.

On Thursday, Kentucky deputy director of athletics Mark Coyle accepted an offer to become the new athletics director at Boise State University. In July of 2010, Coyle succeeded Rob Mullens, who left Kentucky to become the athletics director at the University of Oregon.

"I'm incredibly excited for Mark and his family," Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart said. "Mark has been a great asset to the University of Kentucky over the last seven years and I'm happy that he's getting this opportunity. The work he's done in terms of facilities and donor relationships has been tremendous.  Boise State made a great choice and he'll be missed by the Wildcat family. Mark is ready and capable to lead a Division I program. We wish him, Krystan, Grace, Nicholas and Benjamin nothing but the best."

Coyle played a key role in the functions of UK's athletic department, assisting Barnhart in its overall direction. He also oversaw the day-to-day activities of Kentucky's tradition-rich basketball program.

Before stepping into his role as deputy director of athletics, Coyle served as the senior associate athletics director for external affairs, directing the marketing, fundraising licensing and ticket units of the department.

Coyle joins Mullens and Scott Stricklin as understudies of Barnhart to move on to athletics director jobs. Stricklin is currently in that role at Mississippi State University after serving as associate athletics director for media relations.

Coyle arrived in Lexington in 2005 from the University of Minnesota, recognizing what Barnhart was building at UK.

He graduated from Drake University in 1991, where he was a three-year letterman as a wide receiver on the football team. He subsequently earned graduate degrees from Drake and Florida State University.

Coyle will move to Boise, Idaho with his wife and three children.

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