EAST LANSING - On Wednesday, Michigan State University named its new athletic director, Mark Hollis, a former associate athletic director becomes the school's 18th athletic director.
Hollis brings more than 20 years of athletics administration experience, serving as the senior associate athletics director for MSU since 1995.
He has helped guide MSU officials in the interview process and coach selection of football coach Mark Dantonio and womens basketball coach Suzy Merchant.
Hollis also has a great relationship with Tom Izzo, who said that there is nobody else he would have wanted to take over for previous director Ron Mason, who is retiring at the end of the year.
Hollis will officially start as director on Jan. 1st, 2008, Mason will stay on through June 1st to ensure a smooth transition.
"We will honor our rivalries nationally, within the conference, and the state, but make no mistake about it, we will compete and we will achieve," said Hollis. "The plan before us will include the traditions of the past, a focus on the future, and a commitment to the people of Michigan State University that the present will always be the best it can be."
A 1985 Michigan State graduate, Hollis served as a basketball team manager under then-coach Jud Heathcote.
Under his direction, Michigan State has enjoyed increases in ticket revenues, including five years of sold-out football seasons and nearly 150 consecutive sellouts in men's basketball.
He was successful in negotiating a $2 million donation to the University for the construction of the Berkowitz Basketball Complex, providing both the men's and women's basketball programs with one of the nation's top office complexes.
He conceptualized "The BasketBowl," establishing a world-record attendance of 78,129 for a basketball game between Michigan State and Kentucky at Detroit's Ford Field.
Similarly, he executed the "Cold War" ice hockey game between Michigan State and Michigan, drawing a record crowd of 74,554 to an outdoor hockey game in Spartan Stadium.
Prior to returning to Michigan State, Hollis spent two years at the University of Pittsburgh as assistant and associate athletic director.
Before his stint at Pitt, Hollis worked for the Western Athletic Conference. He joined the WAC as an administrative assistant immediately after college. Two years later, he was appointed assistant to the commissioner and soon thereafter was promoted to assistant commissioner.
It is certain that Hollis has the trust and support of all the Michigan State athletic coaches, some of whom Hollis helped hire, and although he has never been an athletic director before, his accomplishments as an associate athletic director are monumental.
MSU Names Hollis New Athletic Director
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