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Link: Barnhart blueprint builds success

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You've seen the change across campus. It's been evident at Memorial Coliseum for volleyball and women's basketball games. It can't be missed at the UK Softball or Soccer Complexes.

During the decade he has presided over UK Athletics, Mitch Barnhart has developed the athletic department's 22-sport program in unprecedented fashion. Committed to competitiveness and excellence in all sports, Barnhart has invested resources in facilities as well as bringing in and keeping top coaches, and the results have been obvious.

Les Johns of the Kentucky Kernel tackled the topic in a story on Friday. He spoke with Barnhart, as well as numerous UK coaches, and the result is a very good read I encourage you to check out.

Here's an excerpt.

Barnhart has grown the athletic department at UK by communicating a vision, investing in facilities, focusing on regional recruiting, and securing and retaining top-level coaches.

Barnhart established the "15x15x15" goal of reaching 15 championships and achieving a top-15 ranking in the Directors' Cup by 2015.

"The '15x15x15' model he put in front of us a couple of years ago -- everybody is expected to contribute to that," (rifle head coach Harry) Mullins said. "You can feel the excitement within the department with all the success."

Former UK men's tennis head coach Dennis Emery, who coached under four different athletic directors during his tenure, said Barnhart's impact has been dramatic.

"Mitch expects to win. We didn't used to be expected to win in these other sports," Emery said. "He changed the culture within the entire athletic department."

Despite a challenging economic environment, UK Athletics has found the resources to fund a new track and field complex ($12.7 million) set to open in the fall and a new softball complex ($7.4 million) that will open February and host the SEC Softball
Tournament in May. The department also has recently upgraded video boards or scoreboards for soccer, swimming and diving, softball, tennis, volleyball and women's basketball.

Link: Barnhart blueprint builds success

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