C-Suite: Hunter Yurachek

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,392 views 

Class of 2020 C Suite Hunter Yurachek Vice Chancellor; Director of Athletics University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

FAST FACT: Yurachek oversees a department that posted a record $139.5 million in revenue during the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Has it been a good thing or bad thing in terms of how the pandemic has altered your business’ strategy? A giant step back and reflection on spending in college athletics was a necessary but unintended result of the pandemic. We have evaluated every financial aspect of our athletic enterprise and made adjustments in spending and cost savings that I believe will remain in effect long after this pandemic has passed. One great example of this is how our coaches recruit. Prior to the pandemic coaches spent countless hours on the road, away from their families, using significant resources to recruit student-athletes. Since the pandemic they have all become well-versed in the art of virtual recruiting and the personal, professional and financial benefits it provides.

What keeps you up at night or worries you the most? Resources. How can we generate enough revenue and balance against cost savings, that affords us the opportunity to ensure the continued success of our student-athletes, while at the same time taking care of needs of our Department of Athletics staff and coaches?

If you had $1 million to give, what would you support? [My wife] Jennifer and I have a passion for the health, well-being and education of children in our community. If [we] had $1 million to give, it would focus on our passion in this area.

Describe your morning routine. Cup of coffee, first and foremost. Time in devotion, prayer and personal growth reading, exercise — usually via Peloton bike — and on to my office at the Broyles Center.

What’s the first app you launch on your phone each day? The Bible App.

What has been your toughest leadership challenge during the pandemic? Early on, it was developing a new communication strategy and finding the right balance in how we communicate, what information needed to be shared across our department and when should that information be shared. Of late, it has been continuing to motivate our administrative team and support staff and maintain positive employee morale within our department after many months of dealing with the challenges of circumstances, in many cases, beyond our control.

What is the best business advice you have ever received? If you want to get your foot in the door of college athletics, you might have to work for free or at an extremely low salary. I did — $0 for first six months, $1,000 per month over next two years.

What is the best business advice you have ever given? If you want to get your foot in the door of college athletics, you might have to work for free or at an extremely low salary.

If you weren’t in your current profession, what would you be doing? I feel so very blessed to have the opportunity to serve in a profession in which I am totally passionate about and have an opportunity to have a positive influence on the lives of young men and women. I have no idea, outside of this profession, what I would do.