Hackett brings wealth of experience to Cornell’s athletic director position

Cornell College welcomes Keith Hackett as director of athletics, joining the staff on July 17.

Hackett - Keith (2014)Hackett will leave the post of athletic director at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), a position he has held since the fall of 2013. There he supervised 13 NCAA Division II sports. During his tenure, Seawolf teams won 21 conference championships, won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Sports Trophy in 2017, and finished eighth and 18th in the Learfield Directors Cup Standings the past two years.

He comes to Cornell with 30 years of experience in higher education and college athletics. His prior roles include Senior Associate Athletic Director for Internal Affairs at the University of Nevada and Executive Vice President for Special Projects at St. Gregory’s University in Oklahoma. His background includes coaching, donor relations, admissions, student life, risk management, directing construction projects, and creating budgets.

“I am thrilled we have attracted someone of Keith’s caliber and experience,” said Cornell College President Jonathan Brand. “Keith completely embraces the role athletics plays in academics, particularly within the context of a distinguished Division III college, and he will surely help us to continue the forward momentum we have enjoyed in athletics.”

Hackett will oversee all operations within the athletics department, including providing leadership to coaches, directing financial operations, and supporting
student-athlete recruitment.

“I was very impressed with the coaches and staff I met during my visit to campus,” Hackett said. “The coaches were committed to excellence in all they do. They want to compete for championships in their sports and produce college graduates that become honorable citizens in their communities.”

Hackett has a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Tarkio College in Missouri and a master’s degree in education from the University of Kansas. Hackett says his undergraduate studies remind him of the experience Cornell students receive, which is why this job is the perfect fit.

“I look forward to having the opportunity to help impact and influence this generation of Cornell students,” he said.

He and his wife Patricia have been married for more than four decades and have two adult children, James and Katie.