TULSA, Okla. – The Oral Roberts University athletic department announced staff changes for its communications office following the departure of long-time Associate Athletic Director Blake Freeland. Scott Slarks and Jarrett Hardwick, have been promoted to Assistant Athletic Director of Communications and Director of Athletic Communications, respectively, while a search is being conducted to hire an assistant director.
After eight season with ORU athletics, Freeland accepted a position with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in Charlotte, North Carolina. Freeland was the main sports information contact for ORU men's basketball, cross country, golf and outdoor track and field in addition to overseeing all video streaming efforts for the ORU Sports Network.
"Blake has done a great job promoting ORU athletics through the communications office during his tenure and he will be missed by everyone across campus," Athletics Director Mike Carter said. "I wish him nothing but the very best in his future endeavors."
Freeland joined ORU from Charleston Southern University in July 2011 as Assistant AD and was promoted to Associate AD in 2016. During his time with the Golden Eagles, Freeland aided in the publicity of a national champion and numerous All-America selections, while creating award-winning content for www.ORUAthletics.com and their social media platforms.
"Scott and Jarrett have done a great job in their areas of responsibility at ORU and earned the right to move forward. I am very confident they will step right in and lead us into the future with no interruption," Carter added.
Slarks has been promoted to Assistant Athletic Director of Communications and will take on the role of media contact for the men's basketball program. Slarks joined the ORU staff in October 2016 as the baseball contact after working as the Assistant AD at Rogers State University in Claremore, Oklahoma. In 2015-16, his work with the Hillcats earned recognition as the Heartland Conference Scott Puryear Sports Information Director of the Year by his peers.
"I want to thank the administration for giving me this opportunity and I am extremely excited to begin this new chapter with ORU athletics," Slarks said. "I can't thank Blake enough for being an amazing mentor and friend over the years. His leadership, insight and expertise are the best in college athletics and he will truly be missed."
Hardwick moves to the position of Director of Athletic Communications and will remain the media contact for the women's basketball program. Prior to joining the ORU staff in August 2016, Hardwick was Director of Communications at Will Rogers United Methodist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He previously served as a student assistant with the athletic media relations department at Oklahoma State.
"I am honored to accept and step in to this new role," Hardwick said. "ORU is a special place and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with all of the amazing people. I would like to thank Athletic Director Mike Carter for entrusting me to fill this position and for allowing me to continue to serve ORU Athletics. I would also like to thank Blake for giving me a chance to work and learn under his leadership."
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