United States Sports Academy alumnus Clayton Hamilton has worked within the University of Arkansas athletics department since 2010, serving in the role of deputy athletics director and chief financial officer.
A native of Little Rock, Ark., Hamilton earned his Master of Sports Science degree in sports management from the Academy in 1997. He said the Academy’s mentorship program and faculty support system played valuable roles in helping him climb the ranks in collegiate athletics and the sport profession.
“My experience with the Academy was very positive,” Hamilton said. “There was a support structure in place to help students identify their goals and develop an academic plan to position themselves well for internship and future career opportunities.
“My master’s degree program from the Academy provided an important opportunity to complete an internship as part of the degree program. This internship really opened my eyes to the business operations of a sports entity, and helped me understand the commitment I would need to make to achieve the goals I had set for my career.”
At Arkansas, Hamilton has oversight of the athletics department’s financial affairs, internal support units, business operations, contracts, human resources, payroll, and more. Hamilton is also an adjunct professor in the sports management program on campus. Hamilton previously served in financial roles for athletic programs at the University of Colorado and Florida State University, and in professional sports for the Dallas Cowboys and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In addition to his Academy master’s degree, Hamilton also holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Arkansas and a CPA certification from the state of Arkansas.
Hamilton is an active member of the College Athletic Business Management Association, having served as president in 2009, and has served on various NCAA strategic task forces. He is also a past recipient of the College Athletic Business Manager of the Year Award, and was recognized within the state of Arkansas in 2011 as one of Northwest Arkansas’ Top Forty Under 40. Hamilton has served on the Board of Directors for the Walton Arts Center Foundation and for the community based Aquahawgs Swim Club.
“I have a lifetime of experiences with sports and had a fantastic educational experience on my college campus,” Hamilton said. “I have been very fortunate to be able to blend these experiences with my professional goals to carve out this career in the sports industry.”
Having played basketball growing up, Hamilton said sports have a critical role to play in society.
“In my view sports play an important role in many aspects of our society,” he said. “Sports provide opportunities for children to learn skills and personal attributes such as hard work and teamwork at an early age. Sports provide opportunities for people of all ages to stay active for personal health and engaged with others to participate in competitive events. And sports provide opportunities for society to unite over favorite teams, traditions, and common interests.”