Mitch Barnhart has logged two decades of good work as a college administrator while functioning as a near-hermit. He’s the dean of Southeastern Conference athletic directors, he’s been the chair of the NCAA men’s basketball selection committee, he’s built a top-10 all-sports department at Kentucky—plenty on the résumé to warrant a high profile. Yet he’s never warmed to a spokesperson role in the industry.
Attend SEC spring meetings and he will scurry past the media that hang around waiting for ADs to emerge. Eyes on the floor, he’s averse to the grip-and-grin nature of the event. He’s mastered the art of boring excellence since 2002, saying something noteworthy roughly once a decade.