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Utah State AD Scott Barnes Leaving for Pittsburgh

After just over seven years as the Athletic Director of Utah State University Scott Barnes was hired away by the University of Pittsburg.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Barnes might go down as the best Athletic Director Utah State has have had, but he is now off to take over the same position at Pitt.

In just over seven years Barnes amassed quite the list of accomplishments:

  • Hired Gary Andersen which in turn led to the turnaround of a long dormant football program.
  • Won the 2009 National Champion in the Excellence in Management Cup to USU, which is given each year to the university athletics department that wins the most championships with the lowest expenses. Utah State also finished in the top 20 from 2010 - 2013.
  • Transitioned all sports from the WAC to the much better Mountain West Conference.
  • Oversaw incredible infrastructure growth with the building of the Laub Athletic complex (North end zone building), the ICON Sports Performance Center, and the Wayne Estes Center which houses both men and women's basketball and volleyball (west of the Spectrum).
  • Brought in significant increases in private donations by individuals and large companies. Most notably Nike and Maverik.
  • Was named the 2013-14 Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year.
  • Made a lucrative deal with Nike that not only brings in good money for all the programs it also provided rebranding (Uniforms, logos, gear, etc.) for the programs.
  • Gathered funding, secured a company to buy naming rights, and put in place contracts for a much needed stadium renovation which includes a brand new west side building that includes a new press box and suites.

The list goes on and on. MWCconnection contributor Ben Phillips mention just earlier this week who, in his "humble, unbiased opinion" Pitt should hire and he was right.

When Scott Barnes arrives in Pittsburgh he will find himself in a familiar scenario. He inherits a football team that has been declining for years now.  Three of Pitt's last four seasons ended with a record under .500. Additionally he gets a basketball team that has had varying degrees of success  but hasn't made it past the second round of the NCAA tournament since the 08-09 Elite Eight run.

Yes, things are not as bad football wise, and are just as good basketball wise as when Scott arrived at Utah State. The bigger market and budget should allow him the flexibility to quickly attack what he sees as Pitt's issues. I have no doubt he will continue to be a great Athletic director. After all Scott Barnes has a proven history of being able to right the ship in a quick manner and that is exactly what Pitt needs.