December 15, 2021

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

After nearly seven years of dedicated leadership and service to our campus and alums, our Director of Athletics John McCutcheon has decided to retire.
I want to thank John sincerely for the leadership and efforts he has provided to our athletics department since 2015, and especially for his inspirational mentorship of our student-athletes and coaches, as well as fundraising efforts which have resulted in program enhancements and major capital improvements to campus facilities.
The Gauchos have enjoyed success academically and competitively during John’s leadership. He strengthened the department’s longstanding history of academic success by adding the Director of Academic Support Services. During the 2020-21 academic year, all 19 of our intercollegiate teams averaged 3.00 team GPAs across the academic year, while 161 student-athletes earned 4.00 quarter GPAs. The Gaucho programs have also excelled competitively under the guidance of John and our coaches, capturing numerous Big West Conference titles and NCAA Championship appearances.
After consultation campuswide, including with supporters and coaches of our Athletics Department, I am pleased to announce that Kelly Barsky, Deputy Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator, has graciously agreed to serve as our Interim Director of Athletics, effective January 1, 2022. Kelly has served as an integral leader in the department since 2014 and is responsible for the oversight of numerous sports in addition to Sports Medicine, Sports Performance, NCAA Compliance, and Academic Success/Student Athlete Support Services. She serves as a member of the NCAA Division I Council as well as a member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee.

Kelly originally joined UC Santa Barbara in 2008 as an assistant women’s basketball coach. In 2010, she moved into an academic advisor position in the College of Letters and Science, and in 2014 rejoined the athletics department as deputy athletics director for internal affairs.

Please join me in extending our deep appreciation to John on his many achievements, and thanking him for his service and leadership to our campus community. Congratulations to John on a 45-year career in collegiate athletics, and we wish John and his family the best as he embarks on this new chapter. Please also join me in thanking Kelly for her willingness to help our campus by taking on this interim role.

We will be moving forward to form a search committee to conduct a national search for our next athletics director.


Henry T. Yang