Nearly a decade after he stepped down as Director of Athletics at the University of Northern Iowa, Rick Hartzell is ready to tackle a similar job at another area school.

On Thursday (Dec. 7, 2017), officials at Upper Iowa University announced Hartzell as the school's new Director of Athletics. He will begin his new job with the Peacocks on Jan. 3.

"I am humbled to have been selected to serve Upper Iowa University as its next director of athletics," said Hartzell. "I've long known that UIU is a special place and I am confident that its very best days are ahead. The quality of the student-athletes, faculty, staff, alumni and all those I have met throughout this search process cause me to be proud as a Peacock to join the UIU family today."

Hartzell is no stranger to northeast Iowa, having served as UNI's top athletic administrator from 1999 through 2008. During his time with the Panthers, he oversaw 18 intercollegiate sports, 475 student-athletes, 65 coaches, 7 administrators and 22 support staff. Hartzell also initiated construction plans for the McLeod Center and worked hand-in-hand with the Northern Iowa Development Office to raise all of the required funds to build the facility.

Prior to his arrival at UNI, Hartzell was the director of athletics at Bucknell University from 1988 through 1999 and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County from 1985 to 1988. During his time in athletic administration, Hartzell developed championship-level athletic programs, found success in fundraising and hired several highly successful head coaches and staff.

In addition to his three stints as a director of athletics, Hartzell held administrative positions at Northwestern University and the University of Iowa and coaching positions at Iowa, Coe College and UNI.

"I am excited that Rick will be joining UIU as a member of our leadership team," said Upper Iowa President William R. Duffy II. "Rick brings a wealth of experience and a documented record of success in fostering environments in which student-athletes thrive in the classroom and on the playing field, as evidenced by his tenures as athletic director at Bucknell University and University of Northern Iowa.

"Our athletic administration team and coaching staffs are made up of dedicated and talented individuals," Duffy said. "I believe Rick is the ideal person to provide leadership and vision that continue to move us forward."

Upper Iowa sponsors 16 sports at the NCAA Division II level, as well as varsity cheer and dance.

The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) is home to 14 of the Peacocks' programs. Those sports include: baseball, women's and men's basketball, women's cross country, football, women's and men's golf, women's soccer, softball, women's tennis, women's indoor and outdoor track and field, volleyball and wrestling.

The men's soccer team at UIU competes in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). The women's lacrosse team will battle in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) when it begins competition in the spring of 2019.

Source: Upper Iowa University Press Release