Rick Darnell joined the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics staff as senior associate athletics director for development in August 2012. Darnell served Baylor as executive director of athletics fundraising since 2007, helping with the "Victory with Integrity Campaign" that raised more than $90 million for athletics and the current "From Here, We Build" Baylor Football Stadium Campaign. The Baylor Bear Foundation has seen a 133.3 percent increase in revenue growth over the last five years. Darnell was also recently selected to serve on the NAADD Executive Committee in July 2012.
Prior to his stint at Baylor, Darnell was the associate athletics director for development at Idaho from 2004-07. He also coached men's basketball at McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., as an assistant under the legendary NAIA hall-of-fame coach Harry Statham from 2002-04. Darnell coached high school basketball part time in Texas from 1993-2002 while working for Chevron, Monsanto and Accenture.
A graduate of Salem high school, Darnell graduated from the United State Merchant Marine Academy with a bachelor's degree in marine transportation and logistics in 1992 and from Washington University with a master's degree in business administration in 2000.
Darnell is married to Cindy (Clifton) Darnell, and the couple has two sons, Nate and Alex. Darnell's grandfather, Harlan Hodges, is an Illinois State High School Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee selected in late 1980s for success at Frankfort Community High School in West Frankfort, Ill. He coached Top-20 teams at Murray State University (KY) and later in the Pacific Coast Conference (now Pac 12) at the University of Idaho.
Updated August 2012