FAYETTEVILLE — Chairman Ken Mourton said Wednesday it wouldn’t take any longer than a week to find the Razorback Foundation’s next executive director.
Two days later, Mourton and the Razorback Foundation named a new leader.
Sean Rochelle was tabbed as the next executive director of the Razorback Foundation on Friday. He replaces Chris Wyrick, who was named vice chancellor for university advancement Wednesday after a five-month stint with the foundation.
The 45-year-old Rochelle has worked with the Razorback Foundation since 2008 and was most recently the senior associate director.
“As the Board began to consider the desired experience and attributes for the future leader of the Razorback Foundation, Sean Rochelle immediately became a clear choice to serve as our new executive director,” Mourton said in a press release. “Sean has been instrumental in the recent success of the Razorback Foundation including helping grow membership and annual fund support to record levels. His familiarity with our state and program combined with his extensive experience within intercollegiate athletics will provide the Razorback Foundation the experienced leadership it needs to continue to move progressively forward.”
Rochelle is an Elkins native and a two-time academic All-American football player at UA-Monticello. He earned his master’s and doctorate from Arkansas.
Prior to his work in the Razorback Foundation, Rochelle was an assistant athletic director for development for the women’s athletic department and in the combined athletic department when it was formed in 2008. He also worked as associate director for corporate and foundation relations with the university.
“As a native Arkansan, University of Arkansas graduate and lifelong Razorback, I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve as executive director of the Razorback Foundation,” Rochelle said. “I have been privileged to work day to day with the Razorback Foundation members and donors to our program and have witnessed the tremendous difference their support is making in the lives of Razorback student-athletes. I am deeply appreciative of the support and confidence of the Razorback Foundation Board in naming me to this important position.”
In Rochelle’s time with the Foundation, membership and annual fund support has increased each year. In 2011-12, Razorback Foundation membership grew to just under 13,000 while the annual fund topped $20 million for the first time.
Rochelle — who was considered for the position after Harold Horton retired last summer — was believed to be the top choice to replace Wyrick. Mourton even hinted at the eventual promotion Wednesday, saying Rochelle was very qualified for the position and added he was an “Arkansas guy” who loved the Razorbacks.
He becomes the Razorback Foundation’s third executive director since July.
“As a former college football student-athlete, academic advisor and coach, Sean has an informed perspective on the support needed to develop student-athletes to their fullest potential through intercollegiate athletics,” Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long said in a press release. “Growing up in Arkansas and being a lifelong Razorback, Sean knows every corner of Arkansas, has relationships with foundation members throughout the country and most importantly understands the passion of Razorback fans and what this program means to so many Arkansans.”