Sister M. Elise Kriss, President of the University of Saint Francis, recently announced the appointment of Mark A. Pope as Director of Athletics.
Mr. Pope begins his duties on Monday, August 27, 2007. At USF, he will supervise 15 intercollegiate sports for men and women. The university maintains membership in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and participates in the Mid-States Football Association. In recent years the university has captured the conference championships in football, women’s basketball and men’s basketball, and regularly competes in national playoffs.
“With the most wins of any college football team in the State of Indiana and conference titles in a number of sports, the university’s performance and the character of our student athletes will continue to be exemplary under the leadership of Mark Pope,” Sister Elise commented. “We are very pleased that Mark is joining us,” Sister Elise added.
Mr. Pope comes to the university from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), where he served as Director of Athletics for the past six years. At IPFW, Mr. Pope supervised 16 Division I sports, shepherded the school from NCAA Division 2 to Division 1 status, obtained conference affiliation in the Mid-Continent Conference, and enjoyed numerous championships and national rankings. On campus he organized and began IPFW’s Homecoming, Pep Band, Athletics Hall of Fame, and the Cheer and Dance teams.
“The thing that is most impressive to me is the leadership at this institution and the way Sister Elise has made this into a powerhouse both academically and athletically,” Pope said at a news conference to introduce Pope. “I think what they have done here is remarkable. I’ve followed the progress at (USF) for years and years.”
Pope touched on a few goals with the future in mind.
“We want to maintain the level of excellence both academically and athletically because this group has a 3.0 and it took (IPFW) three years to get to a 3.0,” Pope said. “I want to make sure the faculty, the staff and the student athletes help me determine our goals as we look to the future.”
“I want to look into how we can increase and improve on our athletic facilities. What Kevin (Donley) has done here is remarkable and if we can do the same thing for men’s and women’s basketball, soccer and track and field, develop better facilities for them to practice and compete in, then we’ll have done something that really helps the entire institution.”
Mr. Pope holds a Juris Doctor from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University. He and his wife Julie Risk Pope have two sons and reside in Fort Wayne.
The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890, is a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offering undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 2,000 students from a broad geographic region.
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