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UM Hires New Director of Athletics

After conducting a nationwide search, President Royce Engstrom has named Kent Haslam the next director of athletics at The University of Montana.

Haslam, currently associate athletic director for development with the UM Foundation, will start his new duties Sept. 17.

“I believe Kent Haslam is the right person to lead The University of Montana athletic program into one of national distinction for athletics, academics and campus and community involvement,” Engstrom said.

“I am honored to be named the new director of athletics at The University of Montana,” Haslam said. “I have tremendous respect for the tradition and history of this great University and look forward to helping advance the overall mission of UM.

“I believe strongly in the role that college athletics plays on a university campus – a role that unites, builds pride and serves the student-athletes and community. I look forward to advancing a vision focused on academic success, athletic excellence and community service,” he said.

Haslam was one of four finalists who recently interviewed on campus.

“We had a tremendous pool of candidates, and the search committee brought in four exceptional finalists, each of whom brought certain strengths,” Engstrom said. “In the end, Kent was the strong favorite of the committee, and he was my choice because of his exemplary work for UM, because he understands Grizzly athletics and because he has the attitude, capabilities and energy to lead us forward.”

Haslam has worked for the UM Foundation since January 2006, directing and managing all fundraising activities for the University’s intercollegiate athletics department. He managed a portfolio of more than 150 donors, helping solicit and secure six- and seven-figure gifts to athletics and joint gifts that benefitted other programs across campus. He also was a key team member for funding recent expansions and improvements to Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

From 2000 to 2006, Haslam was associate athletic director for external operations at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he directed all aspects of the marketing, promotions, sports information, broadcasting, ticketing and game management for NAU’s athletic department.

Haslam served as manager of media and communications for the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee from 1998 to 2000. He returned to Salt Lake City during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games to serve a monthlong assignment as a supervisor of the Olympic News Service.

From 1993 to 1998, Haslam was director of communications and corporate development for the Salt Lake Buzz Baseball Club in Utah. In 1997, he also served as team travel coordinator, Japanese translator and media relations specialist for the Anaheim Angels during spring training. He translated for Angels’ pitcher Shigetoshi Hasegawa and handled Japanese media requests.

Haslam earned undergraduate degrees in broadcast journalism and Japanese from Brigham Young University in 1993 and an education master’s degree from NAU in 2004. He speaks Japanese and spent nearly three years living and working in Japan.

Read Haslam's letter to Griz Nation here.