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SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah has hired a new associate athletics director to replace outgoing senior associate athletics director Liz Abel.
Paul Kirk, who has been with Colorado State the last seven years, was hired as the program’s new associate athletics director for strategic communications Wednesday, according to an announcement by the program’s deputy athletics director Scott Kull. Kirk will begin on June 3 and will take over the duties of Abel, who is retiring from the program at the end of July.
“We are thrilled that Paul will be joining our outstanding leadership team,” Kull said in a prepared statement. “Paul is a very accomplished communications and media professional and his skills and experience will benefit us greatly at this very important time.”
It’s uncertain at this time whether Kirk will act as the program’s sports information director for the football program or if another member of the staff will fill that role. While at Colorado State, Kirk oversaw the program’s communications policies and was the sports information director for football.
Kirk, a Seattle, Washington, native, started his career in communications with the Denver Broncos in 1995 as the team’s media relations assistant before eventually being promoted to the team’s media relations manager and later director of media relations. He later became a partner with ProLink Sports where he connected professional athletes with charitable organizations, according to a press release.
He also had a stop at Drake University from 2011-12 where he served as the program’s assistant athletics director for communications. At Drake, Kirk was the lead sports information director for the program’s men’s basketball and football team.
Abel, who had been with the program for 36 years before announcing her retirement in February, served as the lead sports information director for the football and gymnastics programs. She also oversaw the communications policies for the department and helped run the operations of the athletics department.