LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – After 7 1/2 years on the job, Utah State athletic director John Hartwell has resigned.

Hartwell is planning on moving back to the South to be with his family.

Jerry Bovee, Utah State’s associate vice president and deputy athletics director, has been named the interim AD. Bovee served as Weber State’s athletic director from 2009-2019.

Hartwell released a statement on Tuesday saying, “I love Utah State University and working as Vice President, Director of Athletics in Logan, Utah, for the last 7½ years has been an honor. During that time, we have had amazing accomplishments. For example, we established the highest graduation success rate for student-athletes in the entire Mountain West Conference for 5 of last 6 years. On the fields of play, we have earned 11 Mountain West Championships and 3 NCAA Basketball Tournament appearances, while our Men’s Cross Country, Women’s Cross Country, Gymnastics, Football, and Men’s Basketball teams have all finished in the National Top 25 at least once in the last 5 years. It’s been outstanding and speaks to the strength of the program and its leaders.

“As I leave Utah State, I want you to know I have the highest regard for the student athletes, coaches, staff, student body, the Cache Valley community, and all of Aggie Nation. There is an Aggie team spirit that permeates every part of Logan. It’s unlike any place I’ve seen. After 25 years in the business, my wife and I have agreed that our family, including Heather’s aging parents in Arkansas, need to be our number one priority. We need to be there for them and for our beautiful daughters. This is the time. So, we leave with wonderful memories and hearts of gratitude. Until we meet again, Thank You all. Thank you for this remarkable chapter of our lives. Thank you for all of the unforgettable experiences. And Go Aggies!”

Utah State University President Noelle E. Cockett will announce an interim athletic director soon. A national search will begin imminently.

“We have made great progress at USU building a positive and supportive culture throughout the university, including within USU Athletics, and we will stay focused on that goal,” said Cockett. “This change in leadership will continue the momentum we have already built.

“In this search, we will be looking for an experienced leader who believes in collaboration with university leadership to advance the mission and vision of the institution through athletics and will continue to actively engage in USU’s work to improve the campus culture.”

Hartwell is responsible for hiring current head football coach Blake Anderson and men’s basketball coach Ryan Odom.

“We had a great run at Utah State,” Hartwell told ESPN. “It’s time to make sure my family comes first.”

Under Hartwell’s leadership, the Utah State football team went from 6-7 in 2015 under head coach Matt Wells, to 11-3 in 2021 with Blake Anderson, as the Aggies won its first ever Mountain West Conference championship.

The Aggies went 11-2 under Wells in 2019, it’s second ever 11-win season.

This season, the Aggies have struggled, going 3-5 through the first eight games.

Hartwell also hired Craig Smith to lead the men’s basketball program, and the Aggies qualified for the NCAA Tournament three consecutive seasons from 2019-2021. Smith then left to become the head coach at the University of Utah.

Before coming to Utah State in 2015, Hartwell served as athletic director at Troy University.