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John Hartwell named ULM Director of Athletics

Published January 26, 2023

John Hartwell

Photo by Carley Nail

MONROE, LA – The University of Louisiana Monroe has named John Hartwell as the new Director of Athletics. Hartwell previously served as the Director of Athletics at Utah State University and Troy University.  

A press conference is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Monday, January 30 on the seventh floor of the ULM Library.  

“ULM was fortunate to attract an athletic leader of John’s caliber through our national search,” said ULM President Dr. Ron Berry. “We are excited about his work as we continue to move our athletic programs forward while maintaining our strong mission of changing the lives of our students, including our student-athletes. He brings a significant level of successful leadership and passion for the ULM Warhawk community,” Berry said. “I appreciate the community members, faculty, staff, and students for their critical role in this search. We were fortunate to have the selection committee co-led by Carmen Wright and Coach Michael Federico,” he added.  

Hartwell, a native of Mobile, Ala., played college basketball for The Citadel, where he received a bachelor's degree. Early in his career, Hartwell held financial roles in the private sector and later served in athletic administration at Georgia State University and The University of Mississippi.  

“Our family is honored, humbled, and thrilled to join the ULM Warhawk Family,” said Hartwell. “My pledge to our student-athletes, coaches, staff, University community, alums, fans, and all of our Warhawk Family is that we will relentlessly pursue excellence in the classroom, in the community, and on the fields of competition,” he continued.  “Our vision will be to enhance our image from merely being proud members of the Sun Belt Conference, to being championship contenders across all of our sports in the Sun Belt Conference. I can't wait to get started. Go Warhawks!” 

As Director of Athletics, Hartwell will supervise ULM’s 17 intercollegiate teams that compete in NCAA Division I and the Sun Belt Conference and manage a $17.7 million operating budget.  

Hartwell’s hiring comes after a months-long search to fill the position that was vacated by former Director of Athletics Scott McDonald in August 2022. The search committee was co-chaired by ULM Director of Student-Athlete Success Carmen Wright and ULM Head Baseball Coach Michael Federico. 

“We are thrilled this search led us to John Hartwell,” said Wright. “His vision is clear and aligns with where we feel our athletic department is headed. His impact will be felt immediately as John is respected and revered in the athletic community. It is a pivotal time in Warhawk Athletics and John will be yet another contribution as to why ‘The Best is on the Bayou,’” added Wright.  

"As a baseball guy, I feel like we hit a grand slam and John Hartwell will be a perfect fit to lead this department,” said Coach Federico. “It will be an honor to learn, work and grow with him. I cannot wait for him to show his vision to the University, our student-athletes, coaches, alumni, and everyone in the Sun Belt and the state of Louisiana,” Federico added.  

Hartwell’s hiring is subject to approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Directors at its next meeting.  

Here’s what some in the collegiate athletic community have to say about ULM’s hiring of John Hartwell: 

“ULM’s hiring of John Hartwell sends a signal to the Sun Belt Conference and all of collegiate athletics that they are serious about elevating the profile of Warhawk Athletics. I have followed John’s career since his days at Ole Miss and everywhere he goes as an AD he has positively grown the success of their programs. Welcome to our great state of Louisiana!” - Archie Manning, former New Orleans Saints quarterback 

“Wow, what a huge hire by ULM in getting John Hartwell as their new Director of Athletics. John is one of the absolute best people in the business today in every single aspect of the profession. I can’t wait to watch him transform the athletic department at ULM in the coming years as he has at all his previous stops before.” - Blake Anderson, Head Football Coach, Utah State University 

“John Hartwell is a highly respected athletic director who seemingly knows everyone in intercollegiate athletics. These contacts have served him very well and keep him on top of current issues. He has always brought an insightful perspective and usually offers solutions and answers. He is a very seasoned administrator in all regards.” - Craig Thompson, former Mountain West Conference Commissioner 

“John Hartwell is an outstanding person and athletic director. He has the ability to see the big picture while having great attention to detail of what matters most for his respective athletic department and the coaches he oversees. ULM is fortunate to have John and his family.” - Craig Smith, Men’s Head Basketball Coach, University of Utah 

“I appreciate the experience I had at Utah State with John Hartwell as my Athletic Director. I feel Mr. Hartwell had a good way of always being present and interacting with all of the student-athletes, doing a great job of helping us all strive to reach our goals and still helping me stay connect to my university and the football program even after I graduated.” - Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers quarterback and first round draft pick from Utah State University