Mark Hankins made men’s golf at Iowa relevant and give the program a national identity in his seven seasons as coach. But now he’s moving on to a new challenge.
Hankins, 44, was named an assistant to the director of athletics at Iowa on Tuesday.
“It’s really hard,” Hankins said of giving up his coaching duties. “It took me a long time personally to get to this point. But I’ve coached 17 years at four different universities. My goal has always been that I want to affect all sports. I’m an all-sports guy, not just a golfer.”
Hankins fills a newly created position and is part of a restructuring of Iowa’s athletic department. Gene Taylor, formerly the athletic director at North Dakota State, started his new job as Iowa’s deputy director of athletics on Monday.
Taylor will be responsible for administrative oversight of day-to-day operations, supervise select programs and serve as the primary decision-maker in athletic director Gary Barta’s absence.
Hankins, whose duties will include athletic department strategic plan initiatives, coached Iowa’s golf team to NCAA postseason competition each of the last six years. The Hawkeyes finished 10th in the 2011 NCAA Championship, the school’s best finish ever.
“I feel fortunate to have this opportunity come available now in my career, at a place and in a conference where I want to be,” Hankins said.
Hankins will help Barta and associate athletic director Mark Jennings hire his successor. Hankins said Iowa hopes to have a new coach hired by Aug. 23, the first day of practice for the fall season.