Cliff Hagan returned to the University of Kentucky in 1972 as assistant to athletics director Harry Lancaster and was assigned the task of implementing the Blue & White Fund for the 57,600-seat Commonwealth Stadium and later for the 23,000-seat Rupp Arena, home of the basket-hall Wildcats.
He replaced Lancaster as athletics director in July 1975; during the ensuring school year, Wildcat teams compiled one of the best records in the school's history, with the basketball team winning the National Invitational Tournament, the wrestling and rifle teams winning SEC titles and the baseball team winning the SEC Eastern Division.
The wrestling team repeated as conference champion the following year, the basketball team finished with a 26-4 record and advanced to the Eastern Regional finals while the football team won seven of 11 regular season games, shared the conference championship and defeated North Carolina in the Peach Bowl.
The football team compiled a 10-1 record and was undefeated in conference action in 1977 while the 1977-78 basketball team won the national championship.
While the athletics teams were winning championships, Hagan supervised an ever-expanding program that now operates with a budget approximating $6-/z million. Continued growth in practically all phases of UK athletics has been the hallmark of his reign as athletics director, with fine attendance at football and men's basketball games, increased attendance at Lady Kat basketball games (a national attendance record of 10,622 was set at the Lady Kat-Old Dominion game in Memorial Coliseum last season), and a steady upgrading of facilities.
One of the highlights of the past year was the awarding of radio rights to the UK basketball and football games to the Kentucky Network lor a high bid of $319,000 per year for a three-year period that extends through the
1985-86 season. The bid was almost double the winning bid of $168,750 submitted by the network three years earlier and only $3,900 more than the 1982 bid submitted by Jim Host & Associates, which held the broadcast rights for six years prior to 1979-80.
After negotiating with the Kentucky Network, which held -an option for three additional years, Hagan decided to re-bid the rights, which resulted in one of the finest radio broadcast packages in the collegiate world.
Also during the past year, the University successfully bid for the 1984 NCAA Volleyball championships to be held in December in Memorial Coliseum. The prestigious NCAA "Final Four" basketball championships will be hosted by the University in March 1985, with the Mideast Regional being held in Rupp Arena the preceding year.
Another big change on the athletics scene is elimination of wrestling as a varsity sport, a move designed to comply with federal regulations under Title IX, which also specifies that the University must increase the number of women participants and head coaches.
One of the newest additions to the department is an Academic Learning Center in Memorial Coliseum.
Hagan has been an advocate of a strong scholar-athlete program, feeling "a genuine commitment to provide all the academic support and encouragement we can to help our athletes leave our campus with a college education and a degree."
Full Name: Clifford Oldham Hagan, born Dec. 8, 1931, at Owensboro, KY, son of Wilbur and Mable Ashley Hagan. Wife: The former Martha Milton of Owensboro; married Sept. 4, 1954. Children: Mrs. Barry "Lisa" Thaxton, 27, Lexington; Mrs. Jim "Laurie"Hill, 25, West Liberty; Amy, 21, a senior at the University of Alabama, and Kip, 19, a sophomore member of the Transylvania University basketball and tennis teams.
High School: Graduated Owensboro High School, in middle of 1949-50 school year. College: Graduated University of Kentucky (1954) with "High Distinction," compiling
2.7 out of possible 3.0 GPA (math major); twice selected among Top Ten students in College of Education; named "Outstanding Senior" in that college; member Sigma Nu Fraternity, Student Government, Baptist Student Union & Fellowship of Christian Athletes. M.S. in education from Washington University in 1958.
Service: Two years commissioned officer in U.S. Air Force.
High School: Led Owensboro to 1949 State Championship, scoring 41 points in final game, which years later was voted greatest individual performance in history of that tournament.
College: UK All-American on teams that won 86 of 91 games, including 1951 NCAA
championship and undefeated season in 1954 (co-captain); set dozen SEC records, NCAA record for most rebounds (528) in season; UK record 51 points vs. Temple. Service: Led Andrews Air Force Base to two World Wide Air Force championships; All-Service honors both years. Professional: Ten years with St. Louis Hawks, scoring 12,437 points in 672 games (18.5); five East-West All-Star games, NBA second All-League twice, All-Pro 1957-62 inclusive on teams that won six division, one world championship; set NBA record for most field goals scored (12) in single quarter. Coaching: Player-coach of the Dallas Chap-parals, finishing career with 14,908 points; Texas "Coach of Year" in 1958.
1978 - First UK player installed in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
1974 Hall of Fame Magazine's All-America second team for 1951-73 period; Orlando (FL) Sentinel-Star's All-Time SEC first team; Inside Kentucky Sports Magazine's All-Time Player in Kentucky.
1975 - Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame; UK Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni; UK Centennial "K" Medallion.
1965 Herbert Hoover Boys Club organized in Owensboro and named Cliff Hagan Boys Club of America.