Utah deputy athletic director Kyle Brennan leaving to take AD position at Illinois State

Longtime U. deputy under Mark Harlan and former AD Chris Hill starts new job on Jan. 15

The University of Utah athletic department is in the market for a new deputy athletic director.

Kyle Brennan, the Utes’ Deputy AD since 2014 and with the athletic department since 2008, has accepted the athletic director position at Illinois State. Brennan, essentially the No. 2 person in the department behind athletic director Mark Harlan, will begin as Illinois State AD on Jan. 15.

“While we are happy for the next chapter in our lives, it is with sadness that we say goodbye to such great friends and colleagues,” Brennan said in a statement. “This department, university and community have embraced and supported us through the joys and struggles of life. I want to thank all the coaches, staff, student-athletes and donors I have had the opportunity to work with.”

When Harlan arrived in 2018 following the retirement of longtime athletic director Dr. Chris Hill, Brennan was promoted to Chief Operating Officer, managing the areas of compliance, facilities, equipment, events, finance, human resources and academic support, as well as overseeing the sport supervisors. Brennan, himself, oversaw the day-to-day operations of the football and men’s basketball programs.

“Kyle Brennan is a sensational choice to lead the Illinois State athletics department and to elevate the program to even greater heights,” Harlan said. “Utah’s loss is a tremendous gain for ISU, as Kyle is a true leader, a man of character and integrity, and, perhaps most importantly, someone full of compassion for others. We will miss Kyle and his amazing family, and I have absolutely no doubt that he will do an incredible job. The Utah athletics family will be cheering him on from afar.”

In early-May 2016, Brennan accepted and was introduced as the new athletic director at Montana State. A week later, Brennan had a change of heart and returned to his Deputy AD position at Utah under Hill.