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Kirby Hocutt to join CFP group

The College Football Playoff announced Monday that Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt has been appointed as the Big 12 representative on its selection committee.

Hocutt takes over for former West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, who resigned from the committee in December after taking a position with the NCAA.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby nominated Hocutt to be Luck's replacement. It was unanimously approved by the CFP management committee on Sunday.

"I am excited and honored to join the College Football Playoff Selection Committee," Hocutt said in a statement. "I look forward to working with such a distinguished group of individuals in what has instantly become one of our nation's most successful sporting events. I sincerely appreciate the confidence that Commissioner Bowlsby and the CFP management committee have placed in me with this appointment."

Hocutt has ties to more than one school in the Big 12. He played linebacker for coach Bill Snyder at Kansas State, leading the Wildcats in tackles during the 1993 season.

He also served on Joe Castiglione's staff as an associate athletic director at Oklahoma from 1999 to 2005 before taking over as athletic director at Ohio University, then the University of Miami.

"Football's always been important to me. Growing up in North Central Texas, it's a game that I always loved and was fortunate to have played the game at the level I did within the Big 8 conference throughout college and feel the lessons I learned through the game of football from the high school coaches and the college coaches that I benefited from learning from instilled in me lessons I still draw upon each and every day in what I do in this profession," Hocutt said. "To have an opportunity to be involved in an event that has quickly become one of the country's most popular sporting events, to have an opportunity to be involved with the continued growth of the game of football is something I find very exciting."

Hocutt is also currently chairman of the NCAA Division I Football Recruiting Subcommittee.

"Kirby was extremely well-qualified, but there were several of the others who expressed some interest, so I went through the process of talking with everybody and I wanted to wait until I could socialize a little bit with the CEO's before we made the announcement," Bowlsby said. "Kirby's got a terrific background in football, as a player and he's led the football recruiting subcommittee and done a lot of stuff for the sport. I think he'll do a terrific job, but we certainly had others that were interested and were capable."

Hocutt's appointment should also quell concerns raised by Art Briles. The Baylor coach was critical of the playoff committee for not having more representation from "the south part of the United States."

Hocutt was born and raised in the northern Texas town of Sherman.

Briles also wanted somebody young on the playoff committee. Hocutt, 43, will be the youngest member on the committee.