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GCU names Mike Vaught as new vice president of athletics

LISTEN: Mike Vaught - GCU VP of Athletics

Grand Canyon University introduced its new vice president of athletics, Mike Vaught, on Wednesday.

Vaught was the deputy athletic director at Southern Methodist University for the past six years, and was involved in the hire of current men’s basketball coach Larry Brown.

Before working at SMU, Vaught was the assistant athletic director at Rice University, where he worked with then-head football coach Todd Graham, now head coach at Arizona State.

“We will strive for perfection and accept excellence,” Vaught said at the press conference held in GCU’s newly renovated basketball arena.

Vaught is replacing Keith Baker, whom president and CEO Brian Mueller said will continue to stay with the school, although his role is unknown.

Jerry Colangelo, who is lending his name to the university’s business school, said of Vaught, “We have a man who has a firm grasp of what it takes to build a program.”

Mueller called Vaught “the ideal candidate.”

“We just needed somebody at this time with considerable NCAA Division I athletic directorship experience,” Mueller said. “Somebody that has a network and somebody that can help us navigate this very, very difficult landscape going forward. There’s going to be a lot of change, and we needed somebody that had that level of experience to help us navigate that change.”

Mueller also announced a three-year deal with the University of Louisville’s basketball team that includes a game in Phoenix. GCU will also have a home-and-home series with San Diego State University.

During this season, the ‘Lopes will visit Kentucky and Indiana and host Harvard and New Mexico.