When Hollis was named associate athletic director of Michigan State, he began thinking about how he could promote the University and raise its profile.
Hollis came up with the concept of using Spartan Stadium to hold basketball and hockey games with an eye to setting attendance records.
His "BasketBowl" (pitting Michigan State against Kentucky) and ColdWar (Michigan State vs. Michigan) concept games set world attendance marks for both collegiate basketball and hockey games and has been copied by other institutions across the country.
In May 2002, Hollis was named recipient of the National Marketer of the Year Award as selected by the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators. He also helped secure a $2 million donation towards the construction of the Berkowitz Basketball Complex on campus.
He was also one of the driving forces behind MSU's move to the 50,000 watt powerhouse radio "Great Voice of the Great Lakes" WJR 760AM, bumping rival Michigan to a group of lesser known stations. Now MSU sports can be heard from Toledo to the Upper Pennisula.
But if Hollis pulls off his latest gamut, he's likely to ascend to the top of the Athletic Department's administration and succeed Ron Mason as the University's Athletic Director.
Hollis, is working in tandem with University President Lou Anna Simon as her point man in the search to secure a new football coach to help restore some luster to a program that has won five National Championships, but hasn't been to a bowl game since 2003.
While Hollis is working with a wide list, several sources close to the search have told GSN that Steve Mariucci is their dream candidate, and why not?
Mooch has had success both at the collegiate and professional levels. Outright scoff at pundits who tell you Mariucci has forgotten how to coach. Take one look at the success Pete Carroll has had parlaying NFL experience at the collegiate level and realize that Carroll's professional record pales in comparison to Mariucci's.
Hollis understands that a motivated Mariucci brings keeps a happy Tom Izzo in East Lansing and brings along with him a star-studded lineup of former players and coaches to draw from, sells tickets and suites, secures donations from happy alumni, unites the University community and brings tons of media attention and most importantly, a winning pedigree to East Lansing.
Hollis has likely already visualized Jerry Rice, Brett Favre, Steve Young, Julian Peterson, NFL Network colleague Deion Sanders and former Spartans past and present back to campus and better yet, working the phones to bring talented recruits into Green-and-White uniforms.
He also can no doubt visualize one day, not the team from Ann Arbor standing as #2 in the nation, but Michigan State, regaining its stature as one of the premier programs in the nation. And he can likely also see himself in the big chair in the athletic department, if he can help pull off this hire.
Mark Hollis thinks big, can he get everyone else in East Lansing to join him?