The Mid-Central College Conference has selected Mark A. Pope of the University of Saint Francis as the MCC Athletic Director of the Year for 2008-09. As its selection, Pope will be the MCC’s nomination for the NAIA National Athletic Director of the Year, to be named later this year.
“I’m honored and humbled to be selected by the MCC for this special honor,” said Pope. “I’m blessed to work with great coaches and staff at USF, and our Administration is incredibly supportive of our efforts. I am deeply appreciative of this award.”
“Mark is truly deserving of this honor,” said USF President Sister Elise Kriss. “He is a man of vision and character who has tremendous passion and energy for the development of our student-athletes and our athletic program.”
In his two-year tenure at USF, Pope developed, funded and managed the addition of nearly 500 seats at D’Arcy Football Stadium and the renovation of the Hutzell Athletics Center, which included the construction of 11 new offices for coaches and staff, and a renovation of the training room, locker rooms and gymnasium. Additional renovations of D’Arcy Stadium are underway this summer.
Athletic Marketing revenue has more than doubled under Pope’s leadership at USF, and his efforts have captured 4 Gold and 2 Bronze medals at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Sports Marketing conventions over the past two years. Pope also negotiated sole-source apparel and uniform contracts with Adidas and Russell Athletic for all USF teams and coaches.
During Pope’s tenure as USF’s AD, Cougar Athletics has never had a GPA less than 3.0. Last year, the USF Women’s Soccer team’s GPA ranked 3rd of 1,437 intercollegiate women’s soccer teams in the nation.
Pope came to the University of Saint Francis from IPFW, where he was the Director of Athletics from 2001-2007. Pope was instrumental in transitioning IPFW from NCAA Division II to Division I and securing conference affiliation for the Mastodons in the Summit League. His Fort Wayne career began at Lincoln National Corporation, where he served as Lincoln’s Vice President of Federal Relations, testifying on behalf of Lincoln before Congressional Committees on four separate occasions. He has been an attorney for over 30 years. He is a graduate of Leadership Fort Wayne and has served the community as a Trustee of the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum and a Board member for the Fort Wayne Urban League, ARCH, the Fort Wayne Historical Society, Junior Achievement, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bishop Luers High School, United Way and the Fort Wayne Bicentennial Council. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Law and is a Fellow of both the Indiana State and Indianapolis Bar Foundations.
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