Five-year University of Utah Athletics Director Mark Harlan has parlayed the Utes’ unprecedented success in athletics the past few years into a contract extension through June 30, 2028.

Hired in June of 2018 to replace Chris Hill, Harlan was named the 2023 Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in March.

The Utes recently recorded their highest-ever final ranking in the Learfield Director’s Cup for 2022-23, surging past instate rival BYU for the first time since the program measuring overall athletic success was instigated in 1993-94.

According to the terms of the contract, which was obtained by the Deseret News, Harlan was paid a base salary of $800,000 from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023. That figure will jump to $850,000 on July 1, 2023 and increase by $50,000 per year until June 30, 2027.

On July 1, 2027, Harlan’s annual base salary will be increased to $1.1 million.

Additionally, Harlan will receive retention bonuses that begin at $100,000 on June 30 and increase by $50,000 each year through 2028.

Additional “performance compensation” is available to the AD up to a maximum of $200,000 per year.

The contract includes a buyout clause if Harlan voluntarily terminates his employment with the U. without cause to accept a position at another NCAA institution. That buyout is $2 million this upcoming school year and decreases by $500,000 the following year, and $750,000 the year after that.

In 2027-28, the buyout will be down to $250,000.

View Comments

“Mark is one of the top athletic directors in the country,” said University of Utah president Taylor Randall in a school news release. “He is the right person at the right time to continue leading our athletic programs as we navigate the changing landscape of collegiate athletics. I look forward to continued partnership with him and his impressive leadership team in the years ahead.”

‘I am in my dream job’: Mark Harlan’s first four years filled with unparalleled success, unfathomable sorrow

Utah won 10 conference championships in the 2022-23 school year, by seven teams. A school-record eight teams reached postseason play for the second straight year, according to the release. Utah teams have won 24 conference championships and four NCAA championships since Harlan came aboard in 2018.

“I’m grateful for the show of support from President Randall, and I look forward to the continued success of our student-athletes in the classroom, competition and community,” Harlan said in the news release. “I’m incredibly proud of the achievements our programs have earned in recent years, and the culture of excellence that has been established. I’m also grateful for the hard work of everybody in our Utah Athletics family, and the incredible support from our fans and donors. Our student-athletes, coaches and staff are elite, and it is a privilege to continue to lead this department.”

Additionally, the Utes are doing well in the classroom. Utah’s 93% score in the most recent NCAA GSR (graduation success rate) report is the fifth straight year Utah has been at 93% or higher, and tied for fourth-highest among Power Five public schools. Four Utah teams earned perfect marks of 1,000 in the 2021-22 APR report, and 12 teams earned perfect 1,000 single-year scores.

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.