Director of Athletics
The University of Kentucky basketball team's move into the new 23,000-seat Rupp Arena must be viewed with pride and sentiment by Cliff Hagan, who was a sophomore member of the Wildcat varsity that dedicated Memorial Coliseum in 1950 and who is now UK director of athletics.
After earning All-American acclaim and setting various school scoring and rebounding records, Hagan was an all-pro player, a radio color announcer, a pro coach and a bank executive before returning to his alma mater as assistant director of athletics in 1972 and then taking over the directorship in 1975.
The move into Rupp Arena complements the football team's move into beautiful Commonwealth Stadium during Hagan's first year as assistant AD and gives the University two of the nation's finest facilities in which to display its major sports teams.
This goes along with Hagan's primary aim of upgrading the UK athletic facilities, but he has gone beyond the two "revenue" sports, adding a press box to the baseball field, completing plans to enlarge Shively Sports Center and looking to the day when he can put on the drawing boards an Olympic swimming pool and a field house, which he says are "desperately needed for our program and our students."
Under Hagan's direct supervision, the Athletics Association, through the Blue & White Fund, has received more than a million dollars in contributions to keep the program operating in the black by carrying the burden of its grants-in-aid.
Part of those funds have financed a 110-yard Astro-Turf practice field in the Shively Sports Center complex. Other improvements at the Center include installation of open-air type lockers in the dressing rooms, and a planned expansion of the main building, with the size of training and conditioning rooms to be increased.