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Will Arizona pursue USF's Mark Harlan?

Expect USF athletic director Mark Harlan to be pursued for the same job at Arizona, his alma mater.

ANDRES LEIVA | Times

Expect USF athletic director Mark Harlan to be pursued for the same job at Arizona, his alma mater.

16

January

Upon being hired as USF's athletic director nearly three years ago, Mark Harlan indicated one of his primary responsibilities would be to listen.

Constituents, co-workers, even critics -- Harlan vowed to lend an ear to all of 'em.

Stands to reason he might extend the same courtesy to his alma mater, which just might try to entice him to return home.

With Arizona AD Greg Byrne reportedly set to accept the same job at Alabama, Harlan already is being mentioned as a potential replacement for Byrne at Arizona. Harlan earned a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's in education from UA, and met his wife there.

He also previously served as a fundraising administrator at UA.

Harlan didn't immediately respond to a text message Monday. He's completing the third year of a five-year deal that pays him $500,000 annually with incentives.

He's barely a month removed from his most applauded hire at USF, bringing former Texas and Louisville football coach Charlie Strong to replace Willie Taggart.

He also extended the contracts of Taggart and women's basketball coach Jose Fernandez, and hired baseball coach Mark Kingston, who led the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament his first season. A feasibility study for an on-campus football stadium has been launched on Harlan's watch.

His only significant misstep: a sometimes bumbling men's basketball coaching search in 2014 that ended with the hiring of Orlando Antigua, dismissed earlier this month after managing only 23 wins in 2 1/2 seasons.

Arizona's timetable for hiring an AD appears murky. The school's president, Ann Weaver Hart, is leaving once her contract expires in 2018. Whether the school will fill the AD job permanently before hiring a new president is unclear.

[Last modified: Monday, January 16, 2017 11:05am]

    

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