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IPFW promotes interim AD to top spot

Hartley Hutton

After a national search, IPFW found its new athletic director right at home with the selection of interim AD Kelley Hartley Hutton to run the university’s athletic program.

Hartley Hutton, also the school’s women’s volleyball coach, was officially introduced as the replacement for Tommy Bell on Monday in the Walb International Ballroom.

“I am honored to serve IPFW as the director of athletics,” Hartley Hutton said at the news conference. “Fort Wayne is my home. I am a Mastodon, and blue has always been my favorite color.”

Hartley Hutton has been coaching the women’s volleyball program at IPFW for 15 years and has the most career wins in the program’s history with 314.

She also been the school’s senior woman administrator for three years.

“It’s nice to keep it in-house,” said IPFW women’s basketball coach Chris Paul, who attended the news conference. “She knows what IPFW is all about.”

Hartley Hutton has been the interim AD for the last seven months since Bell left to become athletic director at Western Illinois.

“It took some encouraging from the chancellor (Vicky Carwein) to step out of my comfort zone,” Hartley Hutton said of being the interim athletic director. “I found out I really liked what I was doing in the director of athletics role, and I am pretty good at it.”

Hartley Hutton was one of four finalists for the AD position.

“The institutional knowledge, knowledge of our league and knowledge of our city definitely has its advantages,” Hartley Hutton said. “They did a very thorough search, and I prepared very hard for that interview. I am a competitor. It made me sharper.”

Daniel Gebhart, IPFW comptroller and chairman of the search committee, said there were 51 candidates considered for the position, with nine being interviewed on the phone and the four brought on campus.

Also interviewed were Wisconsin-Stevens Point athletic director Daron Montgomery, California-Davis associate athletic director Nona Richardson and Oregon State associate athletic director Mark Spencer.

“We were pleased with all four of the candidates that came in, and we felt like we did a good screening process with them,” Gebhart said. “What Kelley brings is a history with IPFW. She’s not going to have to learn the campus or learn the community. She also relates well with athletes and coaches. That gives her a heads-up.”

Hartley Hutton is the first female athletic director at IPFW, one of only two female athletic directors in the Summit League and the only one among the 10 NCAA Division I schools in Indiana, according to IPFW.

Hartley Hutton will step down as women’s volleyball coach and be replaced by longtime assistant Steve Florio.

“My vision for it is to continue moving it the direction we have been with conference championships and bringing in high-level recruits and just continuing the tradition that Kelley and I have started over the last 11 years,” Florio said.

gjones@jg.net

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