McCracken Named Athletic Director

Headmaster Pete Sanders announces the appointment of Thad McCracken as athletic director. McCracken comes from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, where he has served as assistant athletic director since 2011 and men’s basketball head coach since 2010. He will join the faculty later this spring.
“Thad has extensive coaching and administrative experience at a strong liberal arts college that will translate well to our college-preparatory mission,” Sanders said. “He knows the high school scene as a college coach, and he is familiar with Memphis and MUS. Our boys will benefit greatly from his understanding of sports at the collegiate level. I look forward to his leadership of the Athletic Department.” 

As Hendrix assistant athletic director, McCracken helped oversee nearly all the college’s 21 intercollegiate teams as well as the Sports Information Department, athletic trainers, and strength and conditioning staff. He assisted with the design and layout of Sturgis Athletic Center, the college’s supplemental athletic facility; and the Young-Wise Memorial Stadium, home to football and lacrosse games and track and field events. He assisted in the resurgence of the college’s football program after a half-century absence, which included hiring, budgeting, scheduling, marketing, and promotions.

As a men’s basketball head coach, McCracken was named 2020 Southern Athletic Association Coach of the Year, and his 2015 team was SAA Tournament champion and qualified for the 2015 NCAA Tournament. In addition to basketball, he coached golf at Hendrix from 2005-13 and women’s basketball from 2009-10.

As a student at Hanover College, he was captain of the men’s varsity basketball team, and his honors included National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Second Team All-American and Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Player of the Year, both in 2004. He played in the 2003 and 2004 NCAA Tournaments, reaching the Sweet Sixteen. The 2004 team reached a No. 2 ranking, the highest in school history.

McCracken earned a bachelor’s in business administration at Hanover, followed by a master’s in sport and exercise science and sports administration from Eastern Kentucky University.

A founding member of the Arkansas Basketball Coaches Association, he has owned and directed summer basketball camps for children. His community involvement has included serving as vice chair of the Toad Suck Festival Community, the largest festival in Arkansas with over 100,000 visitors, and on the City of Conway 10-Year Planning Commission.

McCracken said he has been familiar with MUS for the last 20 years. “I have always admired the institution’s ability to compete at the highest level athletically while also remaining true to its academic mission. I would very much like to thank Mr. Pete Sanders, the Finney Search Group, as well as the members of the Board of Trustees and others on campus who have chosen to give me this wonderful opportunity,” he said.

“My family and I are incredibly excited to join the campus community. I am honored and humbled to be chosen to lead the Athletic Department as we look to build upon the storied tradition of its many athletic programs. Replacing a legend like Coach Bobby Alston will be a challenge, but it is one that I am looking forward to.”