|Position:||Director of Intercollegiate Athletics|
The Massari File
Chancellor Henry T. Yang appointed Mark Massari UC Santa Barbara's 13th Director of Athletics on August 18, 2008. Massari succeeded Dr. Gary Cunningham, who retired after leading the department to unprecedented success in competition and the classroom for 13 years.
In his first year Massari launched the "Dare to Be Great" strategic initiative to showcase UCSB's exceptional academics and service through its athletics programs.
The plan created a first-ever annual giving program, solidified traditions with a letterwinners club, introduced a capital campaign for facilities, promoted diversity and outreach and strengthened student-athlete support and academic success.
Massari directed an overhaul of annual giving and donation structure for UCSB Athletics, with the launch of the Gaucho Fund to support all 20 sport programs and over 400 student-athletes, led by the Living Scholar level of giving, which pairs a donor with a student-athlete.
The campaign for facilities has been a focus of Massari's tenure. He established the department's first capital projects master plan, The Walk of Champions, resulting in major improvements to Meredith Field at Harder Stadium for the successful hosting of the 2010 NCAA College Cup (National Championship); new basketball team rooms and locker rooms; and the construction of "Gaucho Park" for baseball. With the campus, he also began the campaign for a new athletics aquatics center to replace the 70-year old campus pool.
Since his arrival the department has introduced marketing campaigns resulting in the first sellout for men's basketball since 1999, and national exposure with the "This is Soccer Heaven" theme for men's soccer. The "This is Soccer Heaven" campaign helped the program to lead the nation in attendance and set several NCAA attendance records.
In the past two years, Massari has led searches hiring new women's basketball head coach Carlene Mitchell, a longtime assistant to the legendary C. Vivan Stringer at Rutgers, and baseball's Andrew Checketts from Oregon. He has also secured the Gauchos' all-time wins leaders in men's basketball and men's soccer, Bob Williams and Tim Vom Steeg respectively, to contract extensions.
Leadership and outreach have been at the core of the "Dare to Be Great" theme, with the Gauchos collectively giving over 9,000 hours of community service and youth clinics to the local community. Also, free tickets to groups through the "Gauchos Give" program has been another vital outreach program. In addition, UCSB Athletics began the celebration of Black History and Hispanic Heritage Months.
Massari leads a department with remarkable academic success, including a nearly 85% student-athlete graduation success rate, second highest within the rigorous U.C. system. UCSB is one of only 63 members of the prestigious Association of American Universities.
In competition, the Gauchos have won more Big West Commissioners Trophies (for best all-around athletics program) than all other nine schools combined.
Massari is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), serves on the NCAA Division I-AAA Executive Committee and is the liaison to the Big West Conference Championships and Marketing Committee.
Massari had previously served as Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs at Oregon State University. During his seven years in Corvallis, the Beavers successfully completed $115 million in capital projects, played in six football bowl games and won back-to-back baseball national championships.
From 1999-2002, the native of Napa, Calif., worked with rights holder KGO, directing broadast sales and affiliates for the National Football League's San Francisco 49ers. Prior to that, he spent five years with the University of Miami (Fla.) as the Hurricanes' director of sports marketing and sales. He began his career at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, Calif.
Massari earned a bachelor's degree in history from Sacramento State and a master's from Duquesne University. As an undergraduate at Sac State, he was a four-year scholarship football letterwinner for the Hornets.
Mark, 43, and his wife Kimberly, have a daughter Madeline (8), son Joseph (5) and yellow lab named Hobbs.