Mark Hollis (athletic director)

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For other people named Mark Hollis, see Mark Hollis (disambiguation).

Mark Hollis is the athletic director at Michigan State University. He succeeded Ron Mason as athletic director on January 1, 2008.[1]


Hollis graduated from Croswell-Lexington High School in Michigan class of 1980. He earned a BA in communication from Michigan State University in 1985 and an MBA from the University of Colorado in 1992. Hollis was a basketball team manager under former head coach Jud Heathcote throughout his undergraduate education at Michigan State. Between his BA and MBA, Hollis worked for the Western Athletic Conference under Commissioner Joseph Kearney, who had previously been athletic director at Michigan State.

Hollis was named athletic director on January 1, 2008 and has been a part of the Michigan State athletic department since 1995.

Hollis was responsible for hiring former Eastern Michigan University baseball head coach Jake Boss Jr..[2]

According to the Michigan State University Faculty and Academic Staff Salary List 2012-2013: Hollis' current salary is $600,000.


Hollis is known as an innovator in marketing college sports with innovative events such as the Basketbowl and the Carrier Classic. In 2002, he was awarded the National Marketer of the Year Award as selected by the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA).

Hollis was the architect behind the Cold War, an outdoor ice hockey match-up between rivals Michigan State University and the University of Michigan played in 2001 that ended in a 3-3 tie. He later engineered Basketbowl, a 2003 match-up between Michigan State University and the University of Kentucky played at Ford Field. In developed the popular event the Carrier Classic. The first game was held on November 11, 2011 aboard the USS Carl Vinson, between Michigan State and North Carolina. President Barack Obama attended this game.

Hollis and the athletic department staff updated much of the design, colors, and look of the athletic department and met much resistance from the students and public when they proposed changing the Michigan State logo.

In 2012, Hollis had proposed to have four simultaneous college basketball games played at the Cowboys Stadium.[3] However, due to logistical complications, the event was called off.[4]

His latest endeavor is a four-team college basketball event with Michigan State University, University of North Carolina, University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Florida agreeing to play three games in three different cities (New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles) over the period of eight days in December 2018. The teams will travel together on a chartered airplane.[5]

Personal life[edit]

He and his wife Nancy have a daughter and two sons. They reside in Michigan.


  1. ^ "Mark Hollis Named MSU Athletics Director-Designate". MSU Accessed July 11, 2008.
  2. ^ "Player Bio: Jake Boss Jr.". MSU Accessed July 11, 2008.
  3. ^ "Hoops Thoughts". 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  4. ^ "Cowboys Stadium four-games-at-once idea called off". 2012-12-27. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  5. ^ "New four-team event confirmed". 2014-02-13. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 

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