Utah State’s new athletic director has Big Ten ties

Diana Sabau replaces John Hartwell, who resigned last November.

(Courtesy of Utah State University) Diana Sabau is the new athletic director for Utah State University. She replaces John Hartwell, who resigned last November.

After eight months of searching, Utah State University has a new leader in its athletics department.

Diana Sabau has been hired by USU as its new athletic director, the university announced Monday. She’ll start her job on Aug. 21.

“I am energized to serve our Aggie student-athletes, coaches, staff, university, alumni, donors and the Logan community,” Sabau said in a statement. “We will compete for championships with integrity and we will build on the current momentum of Utah State athletics.”

Sabau’s contract with USU will pay her $550,000 per year through June 30, 2028, per documents obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune via public records request. She’ll get a 3% raise every year on July 1.

Sabau replaces John Hartwell, who resigned last November. Hartwell oversaw the resurgence of the Aggies basketball and football programs, but also dealt with several controversies, including immediately prior to announcing his resignation.

A day after his resignation, Hartwell publicly apologized for repeating a “vulgar and foul” joke in 2019 during a road trip for a bowl game.

Jerry Bovee has served as interim athletic director since November.

Sabau most recently worked for the Big Ten Conference as its deputy commissioner and chief sports officer. Administration of football, basketball, hockey, Olympic sports and officiating were under her purview.

Sabau was also the senior deputy athletics director at Ohio State University for four years before joining the Big Ten.

“I’m thrilled Diana will join the Aggie family at the helm of USU Athletics,” university president Elizabeth Cantwell said in a statement. “She is perfect for this moment and for elevating Aggie Athletics to the next level.”