Has former Utah State athletic director John Hartwell found a landing spot?

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Utah State athletic director John Hartwell introduces new men’s head basketball coach Ryan Odom on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at the Wayne Estes Center in Logan.

Jeff Hunter, for the Deseret News

When John Hartwell abruptly resigned as Utah State’s athletic director in early November, he cited the need and desire to spend more time with family.

“After 25 years in the business, my wife and I have agreed that our family, including Heather’s aging parents in Arkansas, need to be our number one priority,” he said in a statement a day after news broke that his tenure at USU was over. “We need to be there for them and for our beautiful daughters. This is the time.”

According to multiple reports, it might also soon be time for Hartwell to resume working in collegiate athletics, only now a little closer to home.

Per The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, Hartwell — an Alabama native — is a candidate for the open athletic director position at the University of Louisiana Monroe, located in Ouachita Parish.

Hartwell was on campus Tuesday and participated in an open forum community Q&A, per KTVE — the local Fox News affiliate — and fielded questions about facilities upgrades and fundraising.

Per ULM, Hartwell also met with “administration, faculty, staff, student(s), and athletics.”

Formerly the athletic director at Troy University, which is in the Sun Belt Conference with ULM, Hartwell was a purported candidate for open athletic director jobs at multiple Power Five schools during the fall, including Auburn and Georgia Tech.

Those jobs went to John Cohen and J Batt, respectively, though Hartwell remained in many national pundits’ eyes one of the more desirable Group of Five athletic directors after the success Utah State had under his leadership.

During Hartwell’s tenure, USU athletic programs combined to win seven Mountain West regular-season championships, as well as a Mountain Rim Gymnastics championship, in addition to four postseason titles.

Specifically, Utah State won two MW championships in men’s basketball basketball, one in football and a MRGC championship in women’s gymnastics.

Hartwell also hired the coaches who rebuilt the women’s volleyball (co-regular season champs in 2021) and women’s soccer programs (back-to-back MW tournament berths).

Additionally, six Aggie head coaches were named their conference’s coach of the year.

Jerry Bovee, deputy athletic director under Hartwell, is currently the Aggies’ interim athletic director.

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