Michigan State’s Mark Hollis was presented the trophy Wednesday by SportsBusiness Journal/Daily for the 2012 Athletic Director of the Year.
Now in his fourth year as the Spartans athletic director, Hollis is known for developing some of the best college sports events, including last November’s basketball game on the aircraft carrier between Michigan State and the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Hollis also established the “BasketBowl” which was held in 2003 at Ford Field in Detroit between Michigan State and the Kentucky Wildcats. Hollis’ idea inspired the NCAA, which has used the concept of placing basketball courts in the middle of a football stadium in the last four Final Fours. The MSU grad also helped put together the “Cold War” hockey game at Spartan Stadium in 2001 between Michigan State and the Michigan Wolverines.
“Mark Hollis is a true visionary and innovative leader, and we take pride in this well deserved recognition for Mark and for Team MSU,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said. “He’s thoroughly engaged in his profession, combining a deep appreciation of the role of intercollegiate athletics in higher education with a flair for visualizing fresh ways to present it.”
On top of the football team’s success in the past few years and the men’s basketball team’s #1 seed in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, seven other Spartan teams participated in the NCAA Championships along with individuals competing in five more NCAA Championships.
Furthermore, Spartan student-athletes posted the highest grade-point average in program history with a 3.0644.
“Michigan State University has champions across our campus in every academic college and operating unit,” Hollis said. “Our student-athletes, coaches and athletic department staff strive to complement those champions in the classrooms and research labs. We are fortunate to have a staff that is innovative, determined that always places the focus on our student-athletes.”
Hollis is also chair of the Division I Amateurism Cabinet, a member of the NCAA’s Men’s Basketball Issues Committee and a member of the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.
“In accepting this honor, I share it with everyone that has ever worn the Green and White. Our Board of Trustees, University administration, faculty and staff, and supporters all share in our day-to-day success. Our coaches, staff and student-athletes strive to improve every day. Working together, they are the reason Michigan State University is being honored with this award.”