Mike Hill. Photo courtesy of UNC Charlotte.

Mike Hill, the current Executive Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs at the University of Florida, will be taking over as 49ers athletic director starting March 15.

The search for an athletic director, led by Turnkey Search Managing Director Gene DeFilippo, was narrowed down to two finalist: Hill and Phil Esten, Penn State deputy athletics director and chief operating officer. Chancellor Philip L. Dubois announced his final decision Wednesday.

According to Dubois, Hill’s accomplishments during his 25 years at the University of Florida made him stand out.

“Mike has a deep background in a highly successful athletic program from a ‘Power Five’ conference, so he has played lead roles in hiring and working with highly successful head coaches, negotiating multi-million dollar media agreements and facilities naming rights, and being on point in external relations for the Gators,” Dubois said. “But we were equally impressed by his sports administration experience and his dedication to the welfare and personal development of student-athletes.”

Hill will replace Judy Rose, who served as UNC Charlotte’s athletic director for 28 years but announced in January that she’d retire in June.

“I am completely humbled by this opportunity to lead the Charlotte 49ers,” said Hill. “The campus and facilities are spectacular, but what impresses me most are the people. I can’t wait to return to the city that has so many special memories for me and get to work.”

Hill, a Clemson, NC native, graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1990 with a degree in communications and political scicence.

Alexandria Sands is the Niner Times' community editor. She is a senior majoring in Communication Studies with a double minor in Journalism and English. Sands' work has been published in The Charlotte Business Journal, Creative Loafing, The Gaston Gazette, The Shelby Star and The State Port Pilot. When she's not in the newsroom, you can catch her reading a book on Oak Island. Reach her at community@ninertimes.com or @alexsands_.