Erick Harper drops interim tag, becomes permanent UNLV athletic director

Erik Harper UNLV.jpg
Posted at 10:39 AM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 18:03:34-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Erick Harper has been selected as UNLV’s next athletics director.

Harper took the role effective Jan. 1, after UNLV President Keith E. Whitfield made the selection official.

Harper, a longtime university athletics administrator has served as interim UNLV athletics director since August. Officials say he was selected to continue in the position permanently following a national search this fall.

“Erick has a strong track record in intercollegiate athletics and tremendous passion for our university, our student-athletes, and our coaches,” Whitfield said. “He’s also vested in our community and has a vision for the program that I believe will continue the momentum we’ve built and lead us to new levels of success in all areas of Rebel athletics.”

Harper has served the last nine years as UNLV’s senior associate athletics director for development and was appointed interim athletics director on Aug. 16. As athletics director, Harper will continue to oversee all aspects of the athletics program and the Thomas & Mack Center, including general operations, fiscal affairs, facilities, strategic planning and external relations, according to UNLV officials.

“It’s a great privilege to serve UNLV as its next Director of Athletics, and I’m thankful to President Whitfield and the search committee for this incredible opportunity,” Harper said. “Our department culture will be built on trust, empathy, compassion, care, growth and accountability, and we will have a dedicated team of coaches and staff who are driven to win championships, graduate our student-athletes and help them achieve at the highest level. I look forward to further engaging with our community and working with campus colleagues to make Rebel fans proud.”

UNLV says Harper has been in university athletics administration for more than 30 years. He joined UNLV as senior associate athletics director for development in 2012 and has overseen fundraising efforts for the department and has served as a sports administrator for multiple sports, including football and women’s golf.

Prior to UNLV, Harper was associate athletics director for football operations at the University of Arizona from 2003 to 2011. He began his athletics administrative career at Kansas State University (1990-2003), where he served in development, marketing, and compliance roles and as a sports administrator for multiple sports.

Harper received his bachelor’s degree in 1992 from Kansas State University, where he was a four-year starter and standout defensive back for the Wildcats football team. He later earned a master’s in organizational management and leadership from Ashford University in 2013. Harper and his wife, Patrice Hester-Harper, have two daughters, Sydney (14) and Avery (5).