Leadership changes coming to AC athletics department

Amarillo College Athletic Director Mark White has announced a restructuring of the Athletic Department’s administration, including a pair of internal promotions and a change in leadership.

Badger cross country coach Sean Hargrove is set to become Amarillo College’s new athletic director on Jan. 1, 2024, effectively concluding White’s successful three-year tenure as AD.

White, who in addition to assuming the role of athletic director in early 2021, also serves at AC’s executive vice president and general counsel – positions he has held since 2016 – explained that his plan has long been to bring a new athletic director on board in 2024.

“That was always the plan from the very beginning,” White said. “I was tasked with building an athletics program from scratch, putting it together, and building the budget. With the help of my very able executive assistant Lisa Venhaus-Gray, I accomplished that. And it took both of us; I most certainly could not have done it without her.

“Now it’s time to turn it over to someone who will have a singular focus on athletics. Sean Hargrove has very deep roots in the athletic community. He has the right personality for facing the tasks that will be presented to him with the AD role, and he’s very detail-oriented,” White said. “The administration at the school loves and respects him.”

Hargrove, currently a teacher at West Plains High School and part-time cross country coach at AC, will conclude his teaching tenure in December and shift to Amarillo College in a full-time capacity on Jan. 1. He will continue to coach AC’s men’s and women’s cross country teams.

“I'm thrilled to be a part of the Amarillo College Athletics in this new role. I want to thank the AC family for this great opportunity,” Hargrove said. “We want to continue to grow the three sports we have right now by increasing the awareness of our athletic brand and to allow for more community involvement.

“Our goal is to continue building quality programs by giving a chance to Amarillo-area student athletes to play at the next level while providing them an opportunity to receive a quality education. In addition to the area, we want to recruit regionally and nationally so we can build teams that perform at an elite level.”

In addition to the change at AD to begin the new year, assistant baseball and cross country coach Garrett Cobb will take on the additional role of assistant athletic director, effective almost immediately: Sept. 2, 2023. The Canyon native will maintain his assistant coaching duties with the baseball and cross country programs.

“It’s an absolute blessing,” Cobb said. “I want to see all of Amarillo College athletics succeed. I look forward to working with coach Hargrove to help our department thrive and continue to build a solid foundation as we head into the future.”

White said Cobb’s obvious passion for AC athletics weighed in his favor during the promotion process.

“Coach Cobb always indicated that he wished to expand his value with the College. This is a perfect opportunity for him to learn about the administrative aspects of athletics. He is very talented, and his career trajectory is certain to continue upward as he takes on this new role.”

The current Amarillo College AD said that he will continue in his roles as both executive vice president and legal counsel for the foreseeable future, while also taking on yet another new title – director of the Legal Studies program at AC.

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